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General Taban “wishes” to be considered as Kiir’s running mate if 2018 elections are to happen – aid

JUBA -An aid to Gen Taban Deng Gai has disclosed that his boss wished to be considered as a VP running mate of President Salva Kiir if the elections of 2018 were to happen. The aid who gave his full name to Upper Nile Times but instructed this journalist to instead use his first name as James to remain anonymous disclosed that there have been some preliminary consultations between Kiir and his handpicked First Vice President.

“As you can see, their relationship is working smoothly. their relationship normalised again and went back to the bush era. Cde Taban wishes that this same relationship should continue. President Kiir is responding well to the idea. But there are a lot of things to be done at the moment. But if the elections come as recently called by the president, we all want Cde Taban to be his running mate” – James said.
General Taban was recently appointed by President Kiir as first vice president (FVP) in what the mainstream SPLMIO leadership called as an “hotel coup d’etat masterminded by Taban and President Kiir to depose Dr Riek Machar”. Machar has since escaped the country after a brutal onslaught on himself and his family. He’s reportedly in Congo seeking medical attention after trekking for 40 days on foot.
After Machar was forced out, Gen Taban was abruptly sworn in to replace him as the FVP.
For Taban to be considered as a VP running mate for Kiir, he either have to leave the IO which he’s still claiming to be representing in the government of TGNU or seek to unite his faction of IO with the Government’s SPLM. But James said that it is not a problem.

“Reunification between IO and SPLM-IG as detailed in Arusha will happen soon. It is just a matter of time because there are sensitive issues now at hand. Gen Taban is committed to work with President Kiir. both will peacefully reunite the party” – He added.

In a recent address to the parliament, President Kiir indicated that the general election anticipated to take place after the end of Transitional Government in 2018 should be called early to give his government a new mandate. He said that he will ask for new mandate “from the people of South Suda” so as the programs of “developing the country should kick off.”
But the government has been struggling lately to pay the salaries of civil servants and soldiers. There has also been scarcity of food in the city of Juba which forced president Kiir to despatch Gen Taban to East Africa to ask for loans and food aid. moreover, analysts believe that its impossible to conduct elections given that the whole country is gripped by war and no enough money to conduct census, which is a requirement in the constitution.
Bith Jonathan: Bith Jonathan is an award-winning journalist and columnist. He holds a bachelor's degree in mass media and journalism from the prestigious kenyan school of mass media.