South Sudanese Political Parties Impact, Challenges & options for Democratic Multi-party System: The Weekly Review

Published on 15th April 2021. YouTube Link:

In this episode, Roger Alfred Yoron Modi hosted the Minister of Information and Communication – Central Equatoria State and the leader of United South Sudan Party USSP Leader Hon Paulino Lukudu Obede and the leader of the National Democratic Movement-Patriotic Front NDM-PDF and Secretary-General of South Sudan Oppositions Movements Alliance SSOMA Amb. Emmanuel Aban Ajawin.

The program discussed South Sudanese Political Parties (those operating from inside and outside the Country), their Impact, Experiences, Challenges and options for Democratic Multi-party System of Governance. were the guests on the program.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan recognizes and guarantees the right of every person to peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form or join political parties for the protection of his or her interests.

Paragraph Seven (7) of the Preamble of the Transitional Constitution also committed the people of South Sudan to “establishing a decentralized democratic multi-party system of governance in which power shall be peacefully transferred and to upholding values of human dignity and equal rights and duties…”

According to National Democratic Institute NDI, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization that works in partnership around the world to strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms and values: “Political parties are essential institutions of democracy. By competing in elections parties offer citizens a choice in governance, and while in opposition they can hold governments accountable. When citizens join political parties, volunteer their time, donate money and vote for their leaders, they are exercising their basic democratic rights. Participation of citizens in political parties offers unique benefits, including opportunities to influence policy choices, choose and engage political leaders, and run for office.”

Meanwhile, among the provisions of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) relevant to the topic is Article 1.20.1 which enshrined that within six (6) months of the signing of the R-ARCSS, the reconstituted National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) shall review the Political Parties Act, 2012, and ensure that the Act complies with international best practices for the free and democratic registration of Political Parties in South Sudan, and shall present a draft Bill to the National Legislative Assembly for adoption through the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, adding that “The Act shall permit the open registration of Parties.” However, the implementation is not yet completed. The Weekly review discussions touched on experiences of South Sudanese legally registered Political Parties, Parties within the context of the R-ARCSS and those operating from outside South Sudan and engaged in opposition and peace talks with the government.

Excerpts from the Show:

“The political environment that we are operating in require a series of political dispensation in which we will inject democratic values to South Sudan, which is non-violently, to ensure that we have an influence on the decision making of the leadership as well as we will be keeping citizens informed of their political rights…so that there will be healthy political competition between parties which are oppositions and the ruling party. These require formidable political parties.” Hon Lukudu.

“The people of South Sudan have not really had the chance to even develop Political Parties based on political ideologies and philosophies and for Parties to be tested in elections where people will choose the Party with political objectives that appeal to them. We are still revolutionary Parties… In our Country now the democratic atmosphere is not even there, there’s no opportunity for parties to hold rallies and mobilize people for political objectives. But we hope in the near future when there’s really true peace in our Country, Political Parties will be allowed to germinate so that they are able to sell their political ideologies and philosophies far from the fear and intimidations by the national security. Democracy cannot flourish under a dictatorial regime, a regime that is obsessed with control of messages of other political parties.” Amb. Ajawin.

The program also looked into how lasting solutions could be found to this continuous cycle of peace talks—peace agreement— the splitting of parties—resumption of armed conflict— peace talks and more.SHOW LESS