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Peter Gatdet elected leader of South Sudan Opposition Alliance: spokesperson

SSUM leader Peter Gatdet Yaka

November 30, 2018 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - Peter Gatdet Yaka has been elected as the new chairman of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), according to a statement issued by his group South Sudan United Movement (SSUM) on Friday.

However, his election was contested by some members of the alliance saying the SSOA chairperson should be elected by unanimity.

"It was a fair and free election and voting was done through the ballot, where you chose your own choice. The contention was between Interim chairman Hon. Gabriel Changson and First lieutenant General, Peter Gatdet Yaka," said Juan Dar Dobuol (SSUM) National Secretary of Information and Media.

Dobbuol said five of the eight groups of the opposition alliance voted for General Yaka. Only three members voted for Gabriel Changson.

"GeneraI YAK is officially declared by SSOA leadership as the winner and right from today he becomes chairman of SSOA, by which Gabriel Changson should concede and accept democratic process," he added.

Gabriel Changson was elected as the interim chairperson of the alliance on 16 February 2018 with the signing of SSOA’s Charter.

Since last August several members of the alliance called for new elections. They pointed out to the SSOA draft rules of procedures which provides that "the term of office of the members of the Bureau of the Leadership Council, shall be six months only and shall not be subject to renewal”.

Sudan Tribune failed to reach Changson for a comment on the election.

For his part, South Sudan Patriotic Movement (SSPM) media official Stephen Lual Ngor told Sudan Tribune that Changson remains the legitimate leader of the opposition umbrella

Stephen explained to "Sudan Tribune that "the practice within the alliance is to choose leaders unanimously, but Lam Akol put forward the idea of election (by simple majority) and introduced Peter Gatdet in order to achieve his ambition through the new leader Gatdet".

"There is a plot to destroy the SSOA led by a leader who went to Juba and returned on the same day. He also held a number of illegal meetings that ran counter to the SSOA charter," he said.

The opposition alliance is now engaged in several mechanisms and committees crucial for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

(ST)