Tuesday, June 27, 2017

South Sudan Needs Non-violent Change, Says Party Leader
The Republican Party of South Sudan leader Lewis Anei speaking to reporters (ST)

June 22, 2017 (JUBA) – A maiden meeting for the newly formed Republican Party of South Sudan (RPSS) has pledged to lead a non-violent change process in the world’s youngest nation.

Members of the new party, at their meeting, also elected Lewis Anei Kuendit, a former governor of Warrap state, as the party’s chairperson.

Kuendit, who spoke to reporters soon after his election, described South Sudan ruling party (SPLM) as a “failed” and “deformed” party.

The meeting of about 500 members also passed the party’s constitution, by-laws as well as the new party’s manifesto.

Kuendit, a career politician, formed RPSS in February this year.

Describing the new party as “a result of the ongoing political situation” of war in South Sudan and propagated its objectives on nonviolent, inclusivity and fighting corruption, Kuendit said the RPSS met the registration requirements set forth by South Sudans’ Political Parties Council, which included the signatures of at least 4,000 supporters from at least eight of South Sudan’s former 10 states.

He reiterated demands for political space in the East African country where political dissents are reportedly not tolerated.

“We are a nonviolent party that has come to make a peaceful change in the country. This country needs someone with a program to lead, fight corruption and ensure inclusive participation of all citizens through democratic elections,” he said.

Kuendit wondered why the South Sudanese ruling party now consisted of different factions who oppose its original ideology.

“How many factions of the SPLM are out there now? SPLM in government, SPLM in Opposition, SPLM former political detainees and SPLM Democratic Change,” explained the RPSS chairman.

“We cannot change the SPLM from within because there is too much stagnation and there is a ruling clique within the SPLM. We cannot salvage the SPLM, but we are salvaging the nation,” he added.

The official blamed South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir, saying his “failed” leadership created war that displaced millions of people.

“We are asking the youth, who are being killed by failed leadership that created war that this is your party,” he added.

Kuendit, a former member of the Jieng Council (JCE) of elders, downplayed the potential obstacles his party members would encounter in the course of opposing Kiirs’ security apparatus.

The meeting was attended by politicians from other smaller opposition parties. The SPLM declined an invitation to attend.


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