South Sudanese general election, 2015

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General elections are scheduled to be held in South Sudan by 9 July 2015,[1] the first since independence.[2] However, in light of a coup d'état attempt and continuing conflict in the country this has been thrown into doubt, especially since no permanent constitution has been formulated.

Background[edit]

Following the independence of South Sudan, Riek Machar was inaugurated as the first vice president to President Salva Kiir. In July 2013, the entire cabinet, including Machar, was dismissed by Kiir on the ostensible reason to decrease the size of government. However, Machar said that this was a step towards dictatorship on the part of Kiir and that he would seek to challenge Kiir for the presidency.[3] In December 2013 a related coup d'état was put down. While civil war ensued, at the end of September 2014 an IGAD-mediated resolution was agreed upon that would lead to the federalisation of the country's governance.

Date[edit]

The transitional constitution requires the election to be held by 9 July 2015, the date on which the first post-independence presidential term ends.[1] Yet Kiir told the Warrap parliament that a lack of funds to conduct a census and complete the new constitution could result in a delay of the election. This caused doubts as to Kiir's intention to merely hold on to power and was coupled with the dismissal of the Governor of Unity Taban Deng Gai on allegation that he would back Machar in replacing Kiir as the SPLM chairperson and therefore the party’s candidate for the election, though Gai denied this.[1] Since the coup, John Garand's son also mentioned that as the constitutional convention could not write a permanent constitution of South Sudan, the scheduled 2015 date for the election is unlikely to be met.[4]

Additionally, the U.S. envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, held talks with the chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abednego Akok Kacuol, and the chairperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, Isaiah Chol Aruai, in order to call for sticking to the allotted date and the provision of funds to complete the necessary prerequisites.[5]

References[edit]