JUBA – The National Dialogue said in its report that was released this week that SPLM leaders are developing authoritarian rule by avoiding democratic completions and maintaining status quo which it said has characterized the country for almost 20 years.
On Thursday, the National Dialogue, a peace initiative formed by President Salva Kiir himself in 2016, released a report blaming the conflict on Kiir and Machar saying the two men cannot work together, but fight when they are not in the same government.
“There are only two safe exits out of this dilemma; that both President Kiir Mayardit, and Dr. Riek Machar must not take part in the elections, especially if they ran against one another,” National Dialogue’s final report said.
However, Presidential press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, said the National Dialogue does not have a legal basis to call for end to Kiir-Machar political era, saying the only supreme law of the land is the revitalized peace agreement.
“National dialogue does not have the mandate to ask President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek not to continue as leaders in this country,” Ateny said on Thursday.
“The revitalized peace agreement is the supreme law in the country because it mandates that if there are provisions of the constitution that contradict the agreement, then those provisions would be deemed to have been null and void so that the provisions of the agreement prevail. It is the agreement that is the supreme law in the country,” Ateny said.
In the report, the ND said “The penchant of the SPLM leaders to avoid open democratic competition and to maintain the status quo is the root of the growing authoritarian system and unbreakable political deadlock that has defined the country for nearly two decades.”
“This has resulted in a failed political system, collapsed economy, and a shattered social fabric. Given its heroic liberation struggle and its vast natural resources, South Sudan had all the promises to rise and shine a bright spot in this part of the world.
“These promises have now been frustrated by the uncompromising and destructive power struggle that has undoubtedly contributed to the dismal failure of the leadership.”