April 04th 2009
USSP would like to make this statement in response to the decision of the Electoral Commission to defer the elections from July 2009 to February 2010 as a direct violation of the CPA and, therefore, constitutes a betrayal of the people of South Sudan who have suffered enormously before and during the war and have continued to suffer even after the signing of the peace agreement.
According to the CPA, elections were scheduled to take place in July 2009, knowing that this was rainy seasons. Last year 2008, the ruling party SPLM already claimed that July was not suitable for elections because of heavy rainy season that may hinder mobility during elections process. We strongly feel that no matter what the obstacles may be the Electoral Commission must not be used by the government or the ruling parties, the NCP and SPLM, to undermine the democratic process that the CPA endeavors to promote.
USSP regards the postponement of the general elections as a conspiracy to maintain the minority elites in power to continue to rule the country recklessly as they have been doing for the last three years. Since the signing of the CPA and subsequent formation of the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan, the ruling Parties, NCP and SPLM, have failed to provide security to ordinary citizens. The ordinary people have continued to live without basic services such as clean drinking water, food and shelter as they have done since time immemorial. Whereas these basic services are taken for granted in other countries, they have remained a distant dream to the people of South Sudan. Postponing the elections means the perpetuation of the suffering of the Sudanese people under the present regime.
We know that the Sudan is currently undergoing difficult moments in its history from the war in Darfur to the continuous violence and insecurity in South Sudan, high level of corruption, nepotism, tribalism and abuse of power to the indictment and warrant of arrest for President Al-bashir by the ICC. There is also the deliberate delay in the implementation of border demarcation, the undeclared outcome of population census, the Abeyei protocol and Abeyei Road map, to mention, but a few.
Should the Electoral Commission view these obstacles as serious as they are, the Commission should have conducted wider consultations with all political forces in the country with a view to seek appropriate measures for this matter.
So far a number of important provisions of the CPA have already been postponed and we fear that by postponing every important part of this agreement, the next step for the regime will be to postpone the referendum; such a move does not help to speed the transformation of South Sudan into democratic system of governance.
Given the current situation, we believe that Sudan cannot afford to maintain the status quo. It is only a fresh election that will bring fresh thinking to the problem in Darfur, end the insecurity and corruption in South Sudan and thereby work toward full implementation of the CPA. We further believe that the Electoral Commission has no such mandate to order the postponement of the elections till 2010.
We therefore urge the Sudanese people and particularly the people of South Sudan to open their eyes before it is too late.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba
United South Sudan Party (USSP).