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Undemocratic attitude in south Sudan: The case of Unity State BY: Gatcharwearbol, USA
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Feb 7, 2010 - 2:13:49 PM

Undemocratic attitude in south Sudan: The case of Unity State
BY: Gatcharwearbol, USA

Clearly, the democratic mind-set is far from our people. I doubt if they even understand what democracy is or what it entails. The bush war had cemented the dictatorship approach in our top leadership echelonís brains. South Sudanese need serious awareness concerning democracy in order for the democratic system to win through. As for now, we are stuck with the dictatorship mind-set.

The recent governorship's election serves as good example of how weak we are in the path of democracy. Was it conducted in democratic guidelines? Of course, it wasnít.  And our leaders cry relentlessly democracy while they donít practice it. Why not just cry dictatorship; this would make more sense.

To refresh the minds of the concern individuals who would want to see democratic practice in the south, democracy is all about the will of the people casting their votes on who they deem fit for the office. As aired by Isaiah Abraham, the case of Unity State vs. Taban Deng Gai is questionable. The citizens will was not respected. It was simply a hand-picked kind of thing. For democratic style of governing to win through, we must change our attitude or adapt to the democratic attitude.

The writer of this article just came from Bentiu on a family visit. While in Bentiu, I learned the unpopularity of the incumbent at the grassroots level. It caught me by surprise when I heard that Taban won over Dr. Joseph Manytuil. This is certainly due to the undemocratic practice in south Sudan. Had it not because of this undemocratic mind-set, the incumbent would have lost with great margin.

It also indicates that the transformation of SPLM or Sudan at large from dictatorship to democratic system as a long way to go. Democratic laws must be preached first before we start mouthing off about democracy while people canít define what it means or what it entails.

The current SPLM Political bureau members were brought up under the dictatorship system. And in the meantime, it will be extremely difficult to get them adapted to the democratic point of view. Thus, it will require an extensive training to tailor them to the path of democracy. At this juncture, the transformation from dictatorship to democracy has to wait until this leadership is voted out and open the way to the new generation who seems to have better understanding concerning democratic system.

Unless the new energetic candidates from this school age generation are sworn in, we will remain in the same chaos and the dictatorship will continue.

With respect to Unity state issue, two contributing issues stood out like a sore thumb: These two issues are bribery and dictatorship from the above.

The incumbent has been known as smart person in all aspect. Smartness has it advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you can manage to manipulate your way around when dealing with complex cases such as the election. In the recent election, the incumbent has manipulated the populace and bribed the majorities who have voted for him. The votes of these people were motivated by how much he offered each of them. This bribery is unacceptable in the democratic system; thus, he [Taban] was weak but his money saved him. I am not going to comment on the disadvantages for same reasons that are best well known to me.

The second issue which is from the top of the leadership ladder is the main issue that needs to be addressed. The FVP and the President of the Government of South Sudan is the issue here. Kiir has a hand on how Taban got to the office again, but this will come back to haunt him in the future if not properly addressed in the meantime.

Favoring someone for personal gain is not what a concerned President would want to do. Only a dictator would be happy with that.

In general, the citizens of Unity State are very patient and are waiting for this issue to be resolved peacefully. The inhabitants here are brave and can do whatever it takes to rid Taban and his secret ally who pretends to have no saying on what is going on now.

As a concerned citizen from this great state, I just would like to request the calmness of our people and let us deal with this in a professional manner. Fighting is the last resort.

Let democratic system come to life!


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