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Articles and Analysies «Š’›Õ… «Šŕ—»Ū… Last Updated: Dec 20, 2009 - 3:34:53 PM

Why SPLM Failure to nominate a candidate for Presidential elections? BY: Gatkouth Deng, NEW YORK, USA

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Why SPLM Failure to nominate a candidate for Presidential elections?


BY: Gatkouth Deng, NEW YORK, USA


Reliable information reaching us from Juba indicates that efforts of the recent extra-ordinary meeting of the Political Bureau, the highest executive organ of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), which sat for three days from 15th to 17th April in Juba to nominate its top candidate to run for the office of the President of the Republic of Sudan, has unfortunately failed.


Most, if not all, of the SPLM active members around the globe are aware of the importance of the upcoming national elections scheduled for February next year. As a national party and a hope for the marginalized people of the Sudan that yearn for democratic transformation of the old undemocratic system, coupled with inequality, injustice and unbalanced development in the country, the SPLM is set to contest for political seats all over the country in order to capture power even in the Khartoum Palace through the elections. This is in order to effect the transformation of the whole country.


The SPLM shall contest in the Presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in the South, West, East, North and Center of the Sudan in addition to its strongholds of the three contested regions of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile. The SPLM shall contest for the parliamentary seats of the National Assembly in Khartoum to push for a considerable increase of its current small share of 28% representation in the National Assembly to may be over 50%.


It shall contest for governorships for all the Greater Northern Sudan states including for the home state of the incumbent President, Omer Hassen Al Bashir. The SPLM shall also contest for parliamentary seats in all the states of Sudan including the seats for Commissioners of the counties in such respective states.


However, without the SPLM top contestant against the incumbent President, Omer Hassen Al Bashir, as the captain of the ship in this huge task of national transformation, it would be an aborted attempt to effect such a change. Considering the limited time left towards elections, and before which the nominee should get prepared for a huge task of preaching the wind of change throughout the 25 states of the country, delaying the nomination of the party's top candidate for the Presidential elections, to me, retards the SPLM's preparations for the elections at the national level.


I was hoping that the SPLM Political Bureau meeting should have emerged with the party's nominee who would start to take up the huge task from this April. Reliable sources from the South Sudan capital, Juba, indicated that our chairman, comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, made a dramatic and surprising move that resulted in the failure of the SPLM nomination of its candidate for the office of the President of the Republic of Sudan.


According to the sources, the 27-member of the SPLM Political Bureau nominated comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit to contest against the incumbent President Omer Al-Bashir for the national office of the President. They also nominated comrade Dr. Riek Machar Teny, to run for the office of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, and perhaps and rightfully comrade James Wani Igga to eye the office of the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan.


It is said by these reliable sources that comrade Salva Kiir bitterly refused to run for the office of the President of the Republic of Sudan, and instead chose to run for the office of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and nominated Dr. Riek Machar to run for the office of the President of the Republic of Sudan. The Political Bureau members insisted that General Salva Kiir should run for the office of the national President in Khartoum, but he continued to bitterly refuse.


Then finally, the members of the Bureau told him he was exercising his right of choice as a person if he did not want to contest at the national level, but asked him to handover the chairmanship of the Party to Dr. Riek Machar and to step down as deputy-chairman so that Dr. Riek Machar contests for the Presidency at the national level.


Comrade Kiir also refused to handover the chairmanship and also refused to contest at the national level at the same time. Sources added that he even suggested that there was no need for somebody to contest for the Khartoum Presidency in the upcoming elections, but was reminded by the Bureau of the need to do that as the party's vision and objectives are concerned.


Dr. Riek Machar is said to have accepted to contest in Khartoum provided that he is handed over the party's chairmanship in accordance with the CPA power sharing arrangements leading to the elections.


The Political Bureau pleaded with the chairman Salva Kiir to reach a consensus with the Bureau by either choosing to contest in Khartoum as the SPLM chairman or to handover the chairmanship to his deputy who would compete against the chairmen of the other political parties in the country. In that way, he was told that he would remain in Southern Sudan and contest for the office of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan.


The chairman surprised the Bureau by totally refusing to reach a consensus. Sources say that the matter is now referred to the SPLM National Liberation Council (NLC), the body that serves as parliament for the Party, to try to resolve the issue next month (May).


It is very unfortunate that the SPLM could continue to disable itself in the face of the soon coming general elections. NLC should study the situation properly and come up with a binding resolution that should be respected and implemented immediately so that the party's nominee hurries up and prepares himself or herself for the daunting task which is already at the corner.


Unless the SPLM is not serious about the process of transformation of the country which it always talks about, this delay for internal top nominations will make the SPLM elections look like the last year's failed population census in the South simply because of the disease called "unpreparedness."


The author lives in New York, USA, and can be reached at: [email protected]

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