JUBA – South Sudan’s electoral commission chief Professor Abednego Akok has disclosed that the US Chargé D’Affaires to South Sudan, Ambassador Charles Twining refused to say a word when approached by the electoral commission to convince him on why elections should be held in June this year.
Professor Akok on a selling tour to make his government’s proposed election date realistic earlier claimed that no Census is needed to conduct elections in South Sudan. Although he admitted that conducting census for the first time is important to correlate electoral demographics, he said that previous census conducted by Sudan would be used to carryout elections this year. He brushed aside the need for verification of minors who turned 18 after the last elections, saying their parents will be approached to confirm their eligibility.
Akok compared the would-be South Sudan’s first elections to that of Syria where crisis was taking place while elections was in process.
Various international bodies, local civil society groups and the opposition SPLM-DC called the elections plans by the government as distraction and uncalled for. They argued that peace should be prioritised first because 2 million people who are eligible to vote have been displaced. They said the environment in South Sudan is not conducive for elections.
The concern by these groups didn’t stop Electoral Commission Chief from making approaches to some influential groups. recently, Prof Abednego met with Ambassador Twining to discuss why elections should go a head.
“I talked to the U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan and I told him that failure to conduct elections could escalate the current crisis. The Ambassador kept his mouth shut upon hearing that.” – Prof Abednego said.
Prof Akok disclosed that he urged President Kiir to contact his American counterpart, President Barack Obama to convince him that elections should go a head. He also said that Kiir should also talk to the European Union and African Union to discuss Juba government’s plans to conduct elections.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES