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Latest News Last Updated: Feb 15, 2010 - 3:27:51 AM

Dr. Lam Akol: "I look forward to a clean and fair election campaign."

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Dr. Lam Akol: "I look forward to a clean and fair election campaign."

"I will extend an olive branch to all if I pass the elections," declared a hopeful Dr. Lam Akol, from Khartoum.



During a phone interview today with the Editor of SSN, Dr. Lam Akol, who is the other candidate for the post of President of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) against incumbent, Salva Kiir Mayardit, clearly enumerated several reasons as to why he's seeking that most coveted post of President of GOSS.

"I'm standing for the presidency because for the last five years of the CPA (Compressive Peace Agreement that was signed in January, 2005), the GOSS has completely failed to perform according to the expectations of south Sudanese," Dr. Lam declared.

He added that vital resources that would have gone a long way to develop the south and the peace dividends have been diverted through corruption by GOSS.

"My intention," Dr. Lam asserted, "is to put in place a program that addresses the concerns of the south Sudanese. The program will address the question of delivery of services not seen in the last five years and the problem of salaries for the SPLA."

Dr. Lam directly accused the GOSS of neglecting the families of the martyrs, the wounded heroes, who have recently demonstrated in Yei, and failing to develop agriculture and that is why most of the food seen in Juba is imported.

"This is a shame on a country that has plentiful of water and land," stated Dr. Lam.

On the Self-Determination issue, he said he will enlighten the people.

"Both the SPLM and the NCP have failed to address the point of secession," Dr. Lam asserted. "They shy away from discussing the post-referendum issues to make the people understand and the implications. That's is the responsibility of GOSS to do that."

If elected, Dr. Lam "promised to establish peace and stability and end the ongoing tribal conflicts in south Sudan."

Dr. Lam accused the GOSS and his rival, Salva Kiir, of not resolving the borders issues, the north-south and interstate borders in the south, for which he said the GOSS should adhere to the 1956 borders agreements as stated in the CPA.

On the fractures in the SPLM, he said that the fault was with the late Garang, as the SPLM lost the vision and lacked the leadership. He further added that the SPLM is currently hijacked by few individuals. There is discontent and exclusion in the party as witnessed by the multiplicity of the independent candidates.

Dr. Lam also revealed that the Policy Council of the SPLM has never met since it was created in 2008, the Political Bureau is doing everything.

"There is a general misconception about the Popular Consultations for the marginalized areas and on the Abyei issue."

"The Popular Consultation is an exercise between each area and the national government as a way of improving the national government," he explained.

On Abyei, Dr. Lam remarked that it's difficult to predict the outcome of the Abyei Referendum.

Asked what he thinks will be the result of the Self-determination for the south, Dr. Lam explicitly explained that "all options are open and the right to choose between secession and unity."

Dr. Lam criticized that the two parties, NCP and SPLM, have not sufficiently explained to south Sudanese what Self-determination implies and the pros and cons of either secession or unity because of the unionists within the SPLM."

"The SPLM is hanging on the secession issue as the last hope to get support from south Sudanese," implied Dr. Lam.

On the ban issued by President against his party, the SPLM-DC not to campaign in the south, which has been nullified, Dr. Lam said that, "it was illegal and unconstitutional and should never have happened."

Dr. Lam regretted that members of his party have been detained or still in jail and facing difficulties in parts of the south, like Lakes and Western Bahr el Ghazal states.

Finally, Dr. Lam, who affirmed categorically that he was not worried about his security when he goes to Malakal and later Juba, as a start of his election campaign, philosophically said the 'taking risks is part of his decision to enter the election."

In conclusion, when asked what he will do if he was elected President of GOSS, he said, "I was elected for the whole South and I thank them for electing me. I will extend an olive branch (as a sign of peace) to all."

Dr. Lam Akol said he looked forward to "a fair and clean" election. END

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