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South Sudan: Kiir Seeks to Fill SPLM Deputy Chairman’s Post

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President Salva Kiir addressing mourners during the burial of late Alfred Akwoch in Juba on Tuesday

The chairman of the SPLM party Salva Kiir Mayardit sought empowerment to fill the position of the party’s first deputy chairperson as part of plans to restructure the party.

President Salva Kiir on Friday opened a two-day meeting of the party’s National Liberation Council (NLC) with the aim of restructuring the ruling party, which fractured into different groups after the civil war erupted in December 2013.

Dr. Riek Machar, who leads the opposition faction SPLM-IO, was the first deputy chairman of the SPLM party, while Pagan Amum, a prominent opposition figure in exile, was secretary general of the party.

While addressing the meeting, President Kiir said: “The NLC should empower the chairman to fill the position of the deputy chairman.”

The party leader recommended that the party’s constitution be amended to approve the replacement of NLC members who died, defected or are incapacitated.

 “The NLC needs to approve the replacement of members of the NLC who died, defected or incapacitated in accordance with the recommendations of the SPLM in the states and the administrative areas,” Kiir said.

He also called on the NLC members to approve the expansion of the nominees as per the list of 2008 nominated by the party chairman and add a few members to represent the states and the administrative areas in the SPLM Political Bureau.

President Kiir also directed the council to discuss and approve the SPLM’s basic documents that include the Code of Conduct, the disciplinary procedures, and the financial management rules and regulations.

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