News / Africa

Former South Sudan Official wants to be Ruling Party’s Presidential Candidate

South Sudan's former Vice President Riek Machar at United Nations General Assembly, New York, July 2011 file photo.
South Sudan's former Vice President Riek Machar at United Nations General Assembly, New York, July 2011 file photo.
Peter Clottey
South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar says he is putting structures in place to challenge President Salva Kiir for the leadership of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) ahead of the 2015 general election.

President Kiir expelled Machar as vice president citing statements Machar made which he said could destabilize Africa’s newest country. But, Machar said his interest in the top job led to his dismissal.

“I have made my intentions clear and the members of the SPLM are clear of my intensions, the people of South Sudan know about it. It has cost me dismissal from government,” said Machar.

Some supporters of the ruling party give another reason for his removal. They say he’s one of a group of visionless and directionless people in the party who are power hungry and intent on enriching themselves. Machar disagreed with the accusation.

“I have raised critical issues such as corruption, tribalism, insecurity in the country and the fact that the party members have said the party has lost vision and direction and also the poor relations between our state and our allies during the liberation,” said Machar. “So, finally I stated that I will be contesting the next election and that made my president furious and decided dismiss me from government, which I accept.”

He said his dismissal from government will allow him to prepare his campaign to become the SPLM’s presidential candidate two years from now. Machar denied reports that he is bitter about his dismissal from government.

Machar also denied reports that he boycotted the official opening of an office for the leader of the ruling SPLM party.

“I didn’t boycott the event; I was told the chairman of the party wants to open it alone. But, then he called in three others who these days are more or less his team. The rest of us who are in the politburo, 14 of us did not attend,” said Machar. “Maybe he knows that because of the differences that have happened in the government and in the party, he probably didn’t like our presence, during the opening of the SPLM leadership house.”

Last year a party report suggested that the group’s leadership has lost touch with the grassroots. The report also raised concern about infighting, lack of cohesion and divisions within the rank and file of the party.  Machar said Mr. Kiir appeared displeased with the assessment.

“This was the verdict of the members of the party. We want to give the party vision and direction again, by having new leaderships,” said Machar. “So, I opted to refocus the vision and the direction of the SPLM so that we can become a more vigorous, [and] more democratic party.”
Clottey interview with Riek Machar, South Sudan's former Vice President
Clottey interview with Riek Machar, South Sudan's former Vice Presidenti
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Bentiu Lion from: Uppernile
December 11, 2013 2:33 AM
Dr Machar will get another seat not presidential seat. So H.E General Salvage Kiir Mayardit will continue contesting the coming general election of 2015

by: Naath Jikany from: Maiwut
November 28, 2013 7:28 AM
You pessimist,Ohide Felix Juma you can't be detached your from unnecessary accusation of Dr.machar and you are not sure of who is going to lead this country peace.Don't forget that Dr.Machar has been working hard trying quell the Nuer attack because of drunkard is decision and subsequent decrees signed in Nightclub by the Kiir.Now follow news and be updated on wrekless Kiir turning into his own and bringing in those bitter at him before.Don't you think so Dr.Machar will change all this mess up and no more doll play at South Sudan.

by: Chamethieng from: the united states
November 27, 2013 8:54 PM
Way to go Dr. Machar, you toiled for CPA that made us who we are today and would love for you to fulfilled your what you visions from the beginning.

by: Naath Jikany preparing from: Malakal
November 27, 2013 3:09 AM
I agree with you Mr. Simon,Dr.Machar is contesting to win not for sake of contesting general election, but also have vision of leading this country successfully failed by Kiir's Democratic dictatorship forget his struggling Alliance for independent country!

by: Jikany Naath preparing from: malakal
November 27, 2013 2:54 AM
I agree with you Mr.Simon on 2015 general election. Dr. Machar will win and lead this country to peace, stability and prosperity. Anyone failing to fulfill the martyrs' vision South Sudan has to go home and do some farming and fishing!!
In Response

by: Ohide Felix Juma from: Abroad
November 27, 2013 8:28 AM
South Sudan does not need new or old leader. South Sudan needs any leader who will bring the change and new directions at a right time to the suffering citizens. Why would Riek Machar be a legitimate leader ? He betrayed south Sudan before and has killed his own citizen of which thousands where innocent children and civilians. It's too late. Every citizen he will be convincing has a scar of his vicious murder and remorseless slaughters. Riek has committed a crime against humanity and shouldn't be in government at the first place.criminals shouldn't be ruling in government even in public services. Riek's crimes should be brought forward and tried in court. Do the crime, do the time is core value for every government that believes in the safety of its nation!

by: Naath Jikany from: maiwut county
November 27, 2013 1:58 AM
Dr. Riek will lead this young country to peace and prosperity opposite to unstability and marginalization of rural south sudanese of current ruling entities!
In Response

by: jubjub
November 30, 2013 12:47 AM
I pride myself in not supporting debris thug whose nasty records are visible online worldwide.

by: Naath Jikany from: Miawut
November 27, 2013 1:20 AM
Dr. Machar is contesting for coming 2015 whether anyone like it or not. Note everyone has lost his loved ones fighting for freedom and how can incompetent Kiir forget that freedom when we have it at hand from Jalaba.Shame for him who fail at 11th hour. Dr.Machar is the only hope to renew everything messed up sick Kiir...Let him go home do fishing and cattle raising!!

by: morbe simon from: juba
November 26, 2013 10:17 PM
The former vice president ideal of standing on 2015 general election is really at top terminal to be because the government of kiir is failing to exercise the right of his citizens like to fight corruption,security and even economically and he call himself man of people .there was this gifts from the president of uganda where kiir was gaven cattles so if you want your dog to love you give a born and what happen to kiir he provode to be a dog to the new nation so we are looking for a change for my country to case this nonsense of animals instead of road construction from bor to juba.
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 27, 2013 2:11 AM
Only on miracle but nowhere in this planet where a criminal and failure intentionally wish to unseat the man.
In Response

by: Eddie Sondota-Ruge
November 27, 2013 12:19 AM
SS must brace itself for two political structures: SPLM1 v. SPLM2. Which party will capture the hearts of the people will be one that rids itself of archaic political structures like "politburo," an old communist executive structure in Marxist-Leninist states; the party that will rid itself of alignment with failed states who have "life presidents;" the party that will grant greater power to the states and recognizes the legitimacy of peoples' votes who elected the state governors; the party that will clearly stipulate term limits for political office especially the presidency; finally, the party that will steer clear of South Sudan apartheid system that fails to grant opportunity to every SS citizen to speak freely, associate freely, freedom of abode w/o fear of torture chambers, and the right to innocence till proven guilty!; and the party that will recognize that 2m dead during the struggle was enough!

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs