By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
August 27, 2012 (BENTIU) – A meeting by South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) was held in Unity state on 23 August under the theme “One Government, One SPLM Party and One Community.”
- Residents of Unity state (UN)
Opposition parties in Payinjiar county, Unity state were critical of the meeting, accusing the county commissioner of promoting division amongst the area’s residents.
Payinjiar has five political parties: the South Sudan Africa National Union (SSANU); United Democratic Salvation Front Mainstream (UDSFM); United Sudan Africa Party (USAP); United Democratic Forum (UDF); and National Democratic Front (NDF).
The meeting was supposed to include opposition parties and focus upon improving education standards and promoting development in the county.
However, the opposition parties boycotted the meeting, accusing the SPLM deputy chairperson and county commissioner, Peter Gai Joak, of making unrepresentative decisions.
Simon Gatluak Pech from the SSANU and member of parliament representing Payinjiar in Unity State assembly said that the South Sudan transitional constitution states that South Sudan is a multi-party, inclusive nation.
Pech added that he had raised a complaint with the state ministry of education regarding the state’s poor standards, but that it was treated as insignificant as he is not a member of the SPLM.
He accused the county SPLM secretary, William Gai Riak, of telling his close party members that he is not happy with non-SPLM members holding posts in the county.
Political friction began in the state with the 2010 election battle between the current governor; the SPLM’s Taban Deng Gai and the independent Angelina Jany Teny.
Joak told Sudan Tribune on Monday that he had written letters of invitation to all the opposition parties which they did not respond to.