An alliance of 18 opposition parties on Thursday filed a court case against South Sudan’s election commission in hopes of delaying elections scheduled for June 30. “We are here to raise a constitutional suit against the national election commission so that we can seek an injunction for the date which has been fixed,” alliance chairperson Lam Akol told reporters at the High Court in Juba. The suit was lodged with the court’s constitutional division. “The date for elections should be declared null and void,” said Akol, who is also leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change. The election commission has set June 30 as the date for general elections. But the opposition insists that elections cannot be held in the absence of a permanent constitution.
South Sudan will hold general elections between May and July, said a government spokesman. The government will give amnesty to rebels to encourage the widest participation in the elections, said Ateny Wek Ateny, the president’s press secretary. “We will hold elections in 2015 as we will not allow our democracy to be held hostage to violence. A budget has been approved and we urge all parties to participate. In South Sudan power will not be attained by way of guns but rather by ballots,” Ateny said. The president is determined that the elections will be transparent and an accurate reflection of the will of the people, said his spokesman.
The Carter Center a non-profit and non-governmental organization has recommended the progress on legal framework in the National Election bill especially series of Public debates organized by the National Legislative Assembly Committee of Justice. “Following a series of public hearing the South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly is in final review of stages of the National Elections Bill to establish the framework for political competition in future elections in South Sudan, taking to account that passage of an elections bill is needed to move forward with by-elections for vacant legislative seats at the State and National Level, the Carter Center encourages all stakeholders to continue to contribute a thorough debate on the draft bill” the Carter Center said in a press release obtained by The Citizen. The Center in advance of the third reading of the legislation has raised several key issues contributing to the discussion by Members of the Assembly offered suggestions in the spirit of supporting Parliament to craft a healthy and credible electoral law that helps ensure South Sudan meets International standards and best practices for democratic elections.