Civil society leader urges NEC officials to renounce political affiliations before elections

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Civil society leader urges NEC officials to renounce political affiliations before elections
Civil society leader urges NEC officials to renounce political affiliations before elections

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan civil society leader and the Chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network, Bol Deng Bol, is calling members of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to publicly renounce political affiliations to restore public trust ahead of elections.

Bol who is also the Executive Director of INTREPID South Sudan expressed concerns following a meeting between the NEC and representatives of civil society, women’s groups, youth associations, and the Chamber of Commerce.

He cited specific sections of the amended National Elections Act of 2023 that he believes the NEC has violated.

“I understand that the National Elections Commission recently formed three Consultative Teams and dispatched them to the three regions of Bhar El Gazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile – to conduct consultations with the Civil Society, Women groups, Youth Associations, Political Parties, State Assemblies, and State Executive leaderships regarding reconstitution of the High Committees from the States, probably, as part of their pre-election activities,” Bol stated. “This process commenced in Jonglei State this week.”

He outlined the core concerns including section 10 (2) of the NEC act which calls for independence of commissioners to avoid external influence. He says current commissioners have known political party alignments.

He said that section 11 (1) of the same act requires vetting of commissioners by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) before presidential appointment. Bol says this step was bypassed during the appointment.

He further stressed that the law mandates commissioners be independent, nonpartisan, and impartial.

He contends all nine NEC members hold political party memberships.

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