Machar cries foul over S.Sudan polls body composition

Monday December 04 2023
South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar.

South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar. PHOTO | ANADOLOU AGENCY via AFP


South Sudan First Vice-President Riek Machar has accused President Salva Kiir of picking “friendly” members to the National Elections Commission (Nec).

In a letter addressed to President Kiir, Dr Machar said that there have been “anomalies” in the appointment process. He said that Mary Akech Bior’s dual appointment to the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) and the Political Parties Council (PPC) is an oversight.

“SPLM (IO) nominee, Hon Gatluak Gabriel Deng, for the position of Chief Electoral Officer, was not appointed to the designated position but as an ordinary member of this commission. Another person who was described as a civil servant was instead appointed as Chief Electoral Officer,” Dr Machar charged.

Read: Numerous hurdles ahead of South Sudan’s first-ever general election

Dr Machar insists that President Kiir rectifies the “anomalies” if the much-anticipated 2024 elections are to go on smoothly.

Nicolas Haysom, chief of the UN mission in South Sudan, has expressed concerns about the absence of crucial prerequisites for the impending elections. But President Kiir has pledged that elections will go on as planned.


The country was meant to conclude a transition period with elections in February this year, but the government has so far failed to meet key provisions of the 2018 Peace Agreement, including drafting a constitution.

Foreign Affairs Minister James Morgan told The EastAfrican that Juba is ready.

Read: South Sudan polls to be held on schedule

“The pacification of the country is now about letting the people choose their leaders in the coming polls,” he said.

Duoth Deng Pal, a South Sudanese political analyst, said that the world should not expect elections in South Sudan to go the Western democratic way.