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Changson would be responsible for S. Sudan SSOA’s split: Akol

December 1, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Gabriel Changson would bear the responsibility for any rift within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) if he continues to reject the election of Peter Gatdet as a new chairperson of the umbrella.

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Gabriel Changson

Akol further stressed their keenness to safeguard SSOA’s unity and cohesion, noting that Changson, if he is keen on it, will accept the outcome of the elections that removed him from the presidency.

On Friday, the opposition coalition elected Peter Gatdet as chairperson of the SSOA by a vote of five out of eight. However, he and his two other supporters rejected the result saying the election of the chairman requires unanimity.

Changson and his supporters further refused to take part in the election of the other positions of the SSOA executive body forcing the other members to stop the process.

However, Akol said they will hold a meeting at Peter Gatdet’s house in Khartoum to complete the election of the members of the Bureau of the Leadership Council.

"We will see if Changson will be present or not," he said adding that "Changson may split, but what happened was legal."

He further said that rationality and logic require adherence to the SSOA Charter, which provides in its article 12 that the all the heads of alliance’s factions can run for the chairmanship of the umbrella.

"When the opening of the candidacy for the post was announced, there was no exception. So, how one can refuse after the nomination process and election. It seems that Changson had too much confidence that he could win."

"Challenging the suitability of a candidate for office cannot be done after the votes were cast; it should have been before. Also, the idea that some leaders can chair SSOA and others cannot run contrary to the principles guiding SSOA," said Peter Gatdet in a separate statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

According to the Charter of the SSOA (Article 12) and the Regulations (Article 6), the Leadership Council elects the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary General and Coordinators for a six (6) month term.

The charter also provides that the Chairperson is elected by rotation among the Leaders of SSOA’s factions and the term was non-renewable.

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