Letís SPLM Political Bureau be answerable to all current messes in the South
By Atok Dan Baguoot
In any normal situation, one reaps what one sows; likewise the political giant of the modern era, Sudan Peopleís Liberation Movement SPLM reaps what it sowed earlier this year in its first ever democratic elections after it was incepted three decades ago. On the contrary, the seeds sowed three months ago by the SPLM arenít only a sweet one but also bitter because of the acidity of the soil in which it was planted. The SPLM soil scientists who examined soilís suitability underrated topographical nature of the land hence, planted right seeds on wrong soil.
As one of the giants of the day, SPLM is endowed with men and women of high integrity as its front runners running its daily political activities concurrently with geopolitical changes that are unfolding in the entire country. It is being headed by four gentlemen as chairpersons plus two other gentlemen and a lady as secretary generals at the highest echelon of the party. Besides these, Liberation Councils at various levels and Political Bureau are other usual assets where the party gains meaningful and well scrutinized information if not properly sieved information before it is handed over to general public for consumption.
But what happened in the SPLM during the filing of candidates to contest at various levels was regrettable despite the fact that such bodies outlined above exited with proper constitutional roles clearly spelt out. The party Political Bureau PB shouldered the whole responsibility in a rush manner and nominated candidates in their likeness. The result of their rush work gave birth to the entire crisis that are unfolding everywhere in Southern Sudan as post elections events.
In fact, the 27 members Political Bureau overstepped their mandate and went ahead to decide on behalf of 39 millions Sudanese in nominating gubernatorial candidates to represent the stated population and as a result, elections results are being disputed even those who would have failed at the levels of Boma or Payam capitalized on the seeds planted in this acidic soil to dispute the results. Not all those who contested independently would have made it through at the grass levels if the whole exercised was levied on the grassroots people to choose them.
In a situation where one party is the choice of the people like the case of Southern Sudan where SPLM is still market leader, public usual wish to be the barometers of gauging the popularities of representatives representing them and this is where political bureau picked it wrong. Not even a single person talked of whom did NCP nor any other recognized political force had nominated to represent it with the exception of the SPLM where the emphasis was. This shows SPLM was the choice of the people because it is a party of the marginalised and that why it was nurtured, nursed and supported by them.
Political bureau wasnít keen enough to define terms that made up the Movement like saying Peopleís Movement. Therefore, the seeds reaped in the recent elections ranging from rejecting results peaceful and violently like what happened in unity state, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Jongeli and many other places where lives were lost in relation to elections outcome.
This actually justifies that chaos in Southern Sudan which is the stronghold of the SPLM were planted by the Political Bureau, germinated in the process of electoral campaigns and eventually reaped now, so anybody crying fault now or whatever cries should never blame the implementers only but also points accusatory finger to planters. This political miscalculation overshadowed the public from exercising their long denied democratic rights which SPLM had been advocating loudly over decades.
Remember, it is the daughters and sons of these overshadowed public who had perished in the battle fields fighting for freedom of choice which the Bureau majestically denied free choice.
Note that, not even a single old man or a woman has ever waken up and ask for dear compensation of his lost son or daughter in the protracted civil war waged by the SPLM/A against the successive Khartoum regimes because they knew at the end of the day, they would be able to decide in the governance.
It makes no different with what our late leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabior (RIP)
used to say as ugly face of old Sudan where leaders were brought from the blue without objection from the public. In areas where choices of the people were coincidently met, results were jovially accepted unlike where political bureau was seen as too harsh on the choice of the people.
Discipline, loyalty and self-respect and there would be more rooms for you at the top shall be the applicable principle of endurance until the life time of this parliament would end as loyal members of the SPLM, please accept that. During the previous years, many people had talked ills on the governmentís failures as directly attributed to the SPLM yet the last parliament was a composition of aggregates from parties and only SPLM happened to be the majority in the house.
It was a government of national unity only headed by the SPLM thus, it doesnít warrant SPLM to be blamed innocently. Those loud talkers preempted premature situation. Their time of judging the SPLM is now ripped enough especially with this dominated government where 99% of Honorable Members both in state and Juba parliament are SPLM.
In fact, members of public were not keen enough to apportion the failures of the last government on the right body. Some were pointing at Mr. President, his Vice and the ministers as weak characters leaving the parliament yet these people couldnít do anything without directives from the parliament. The last parliament was just a collection of bench warmers waiting for end of
every month to go home with their shares without knowing why they were gathered there. Therefore, it was the parliament that had failed the government instead of executives.
Because of the mistake from Bureau, most of those dead woods who occupied the last parliament have come back again because PB did block the public from choosing their right representatives by deciding on their behalf. Public had no otherwise but voted for members brought forward by their beloved party and this simply gives you hints on what type of parliament is this going to be. It would just be a mature twin of the first one. Inefficiency of GoSS was not from the president neither the Vice nor even the ministers but parliament so wait to see the performance of this coming house.
That aprliament had no serious deliberations on crucial issues of the day and thatís why it went to recess without passing significant bills pertinent to CPA. Quorum was one of the incurable diseases it suffered besides lack of legal knowledge while things like formal education were something not to be talk of anymore. Majority of the semi-learned members couldnít comprehend the usual language of Mr. Speaker and few who did had no courage to articulate on issues tabled because of lack of confidence.
With 50% of the former MPs back to the August House, levels of deliberations would also shot up at 50% while usual status quo shall remain constant minus negative and positive vices pulling each other towards centre of interest. The former MPs will be talking tongues of five years experienced on parliamentary issues yet fact of the matter is five years experience in redundancy, something nostalgic missed by those dropped in this simple beauty contest. As convinced by the truth of five years idle sitting in the parliament, newcomers would frequently wish to resort to former ones for parliamentary guidance yet majority of those were just part time attendees whose full devotion remains questionable.
If political bureau had set performance records for each and every MP that belongs to the SPLM, peopleís choices would have been met without doubt even though it is still deemed as inappropriate for a young nation that has just been out of long war.
Back to PB, sincerely speaking, there was no power rift within the SPLM, but what might have occurred took place because of congenial or comradeship power pulls and pushes in favour of each other along the normal political change of personal.
SPLM is much more experienced in handling internal controversial issues since it was born. They are actually old school graduates with wealth of problems solving techniques unlike the young SPLM-DC that still battling with some political start up to establish a concrete base.
Well, wings like the popular SPLM Youth League is still much volatile as most of the influential youth still doubts political heterogeneity of its participation more so among the youth themselves who on many occasions have bitter time with the leadership. Many had viewed that Youth League would have been headed by former aggregates of Red Army who are partially exclusive now in the political set of the League.
Lastly, view it here that SPLM PB would bear the burden of blames from any possible corner where SPLM diehards are still yearning for acceptance of mistakes and where things might have not worked in accordance with party expectations. Otherwise, PB is reaping the fruits of what itís sowed, nonetheless, directly and indirectly answerable to such current occurrences.
Atok Dan is a journalist working for Southern Sudan Radio and TV and is reachable at