News / Africa

Top Southern Sudanese Official Says Underdeveloped Institutions Could Hinder Credible National Elections

A top Southern Sudanese official says the country’s institutions will play a critical role in the upcoming general election.

A Sudanese opposition supporter shouts slogans as protesters wave the flag of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) during a demonstration against the government in Khartoum, 07 Dec 2009
A Sudanese opposition supporter shouts slogans as protesters wave the flag of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) during a demonstration against the government in Khartoum, 07 Dec 2009

Multimedia

Audio
  • Luka Biong Deng,Southern Sudan's Minister of Presidential Affairs Spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A top Southern Sudanese official says the country’s institutions will play a critical role in the upcoming general election.

Minister of Presidential Affairs Luka Biong Deng said underdeveloped institutions could undermine the credibility of the vote, which is scheduled for April 11-13.

There is concern about the police, security agencies, the judiciary, the National Electoral Commission and others, he said.

“I think these institutions are quite critical,” said Deng.  “As you know, all the executives of these institutions are appointed as (part) of the power sharing agreement between the National Congress Party and the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement).

Salva Kiir (L) VP and President of South-Sudan in Nairobi
Salva Kiir (L) VP and President of South-Sudan in Nairobi

In the case of the National Electoral Commission, he said, “It’s quite critical [that it be trusted] to oversee the conduct of elections and ensure [a credible vote].”

During its years of independence, said Deng, Sudan has never held a transparent election.

Shortly after taking power in 1989, leaders of the new military government closed down all of Sudan’s executive and legislative governmental institutions.

They also suspended the constitution, arrested many prominent civilian politicians, banned all political parties and partisan political activity and restricted freedom of the press.

“I think we have been seeing either dictatorial or military systems, and even if elections were conducted, they were not really to the spirit of democracy.... This is the first time that the people of Sudan are going to witness…a free election.”

Some observers say Sudan’s successive military takeovers have largely contributed to the lack of development in the country’s institutions.

Soon after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the north and the south, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched a number of projects to improve Sudan’s institutions.

As part of the effort, the UNDP recruited 43 volunteers to help develop more than 75 government institutions and universities, as well as organizations in the private sectors in both northern and southern Sudan.

Analysts credit the national government, led by President Hassan al-Bashir, and the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, led by President Salva Kiir, for encouraging Sudanese expatriates to volunteer their experience to help strengthen national and state institutions.

The SPLM is working closely with the ruling National Congress Party, as well as other parties and the security agencies, to provide a secure environment that will facilitate a credible vote, said Deng.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid