JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, Sudan People’s Liberation in Opposition (SPLM-IO), led by First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar on Saturday launched six-month nationwide membership registration and mobilization in Juba.
The nationwide drive aims to prepare the opposition party for elections slated for end of the transitional period.
Machar said there are duties and constitutional rights attached to the registration.
“We have started registration for membership, it is very important to know all party members, and we started registration and late Manawa is registered, he has rights and achievements, after registration, you have duties principle, constitution and regulation to abide by,” Dr. Machar said.
“We have rights of associations and we have code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, internal regulation and manifesto, people with similar opinion work together on how to run the country, we have 64 parties and others make an alliance, it is part of democracy to come with different opinions,” he added.
Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, SPLM-IO Deputy Chairman said the group will not throw away the 2018 peace deal despite its slow implementation.
“I want to assure you that peace agreement which was negotiated by international brokers, we shall not throw it away. The agreement remains valid, remains important yesterday, today, and even after six months as long as it is not implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.
Oyet who doubled as deputy speaker of the national parliament added that “we shall never throw the agreement which is meant to transform this country away.”
Regina Joseph Kaba, the party’s Interim Secretary-General said the registration process aims to prepare the party for registration with the Political Parties Council.
“Now we are in the process of registering our members and preparing our documents so that we will be ready for registration of our party when the time comes,” Regina said.
Regina said the ruling party tends to wipe away small political parties after it increased the number of members required to register a political party from 300 to 500.
“We can register in ten states more than 1,000, we know that and we are sure of it but we are supporting the small party to also enjoy this country and share their ideas, and visions for the development of people of South Sudan,” she said.
“We in this country, we need to promote a multi-party system and when we say we stand with 300 it does not mean that we don’t have members.”