It has been one month since the campaigns for presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections began. The elections will be held from 11 April to 13 April 2010. The election brings to the end the transitional period which began when the decades-long Second Sudanese Civil War ended in 2005.
One of the political parties contesting the leadership of the government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) is the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - Democratic Change (SPLM-DC).
“The campaigns are going well,” said Charles Kisanga the secretary general of SPLM-DC from the Southern Sudanese capital, Juba. “We didn’t know what to expect but people are ready for change because they are tired of a government that has failed to provide essential services and even basic security in the last five years,” he said in reference to the SPLM-led government in the south.
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Kisanga explained that people’s desire to change the status quo can be evidenced from the large number of people that turned up for the inaugural rally in Juba. “Even without a lot of campaigning in the past, because we were banned from operating in the Southern Sudan, we came and people received us in large numbers. So it has been a successful launch of our activities, especially in the capital, Juba.”
He said SPLM-DC is campaigning for democratic change that will provide services to the people. “We are different because we are promising people that we shall tackle the corruption, provide services and security, and we shall provide reconciliation.
Kisanga also said that SPLM-DC if elected will provide accountability for all the money that the government gets and how it is used. “We are different in that we shall explain to the people our programs and assure them that we shall right the wrongs committed by the government.”
On the referendum scheduled for next year, Kisanga was non-committal only saying that that was up to the people. The problem of whether the South [Southern Sudan] can succeed or remain in a united Sudan was addressed in the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement), he said, “and in that agreement there is a provision for a referendum for the people to decide.”
He said before the referendum the people of Southern Sudan need a good democratic government that can provide essential services and security so that they make their decision based on what is good for them.
Southern Sudan will hold a referendum on whether or not it should remain as a part of Sudan in January 2011.
Dr. Lam Akol is the SPLM-DC presidential candidate for the government of Southern Sudan.
Southern Sudan’s leader, Salva Kiir, is running for president of the semi-autonomous region instead of challenging Omar al-Bashir for the presidency of Sudan.