South Sudan: SPLM-IO Threatens to Boycott Elections

The SPLM-IO has threatened to boycott the anticipated 2023 general elections over what it described as a lack of political space in the country.

This is according to SPLM-IO deputy chairman and first deputy head of the transitional national legislative assembly, Oyet Nathaniel Pierino.

Speaking during the launch of the SPLM-IO membership registration in Juba on Saturday, Oyet said his group wants free, fair, and credible elections.

“I want to assure you, SPLM-IO is not afraid of elections. We don’t want an election that is not free, which is not fair, and which is a sham to take place in South Sudan,” Oyet said.

“We want an election that is credible, an election that grants the rights and inspirations of the people of South Sudan, an election where South Sudanese will have an opportunity to vote for the leaders, leaders of their choices, not anybody choosing for them the leaders.”

The SPLM-IO deputy chairperson also pointed out that the lack of political space is hindering the implementation of the peace agreement in the country.

“There is no political space in the county. If you want to hold meetings in a hotel, you must seek permission from the national security, then we ask, where is the Bill of Rights of South Sudan which is in the constitution, it doesn’t exist,” the SPLM-IO deputy chairperson said.

“If you ask what is in the interest of national security, the police will stop any South Sudanese from holding meetings, birthday parties, and wedding parties in the hotel, what is the interest. Is it not because they are fearing that they will be discussing political issues, and what mixed political and leadership? they are supposed to be separate.”

Oyet warned of the repeat of the 2010 elections violence that led to rebellion in South Sudan.

Koch Madut