Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) during his reception ceremony at the commission’s headquarters in Juba after being sworn-in on Monday, January 8, 2023. (Radio Tamazuj photo)

Polls body to roll out countrywide voter education drive

The National Elections Commission (NEC) will soon roll out a voter education program ahead of the December elections.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) will soon roll out a voter education program ahead of the December elections.

On Monday, Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) said the program seeks to create awareness among voters with regard to the electoral process.

He was speaking on Monday, during his reception ceremony at the commission’s headquarters in Juba after being sworn-in.

“Our priority right now is to embark on civic education, to tell the masses all over South Sudan that election is being conducted and you are the people (to vote. The sovereignty is theirs because voting is going to bring you to power, so they must be told that this is their chance. They will come for registration everywhere, those  above eighteen years will be registered,” said Akok.  

Akok said elections will be conducted in December if there are resources to run the process.

“There are only three stages; stage one is civic education, stage two is registration of voters and then stage three is voting. If we are serious as I said before, the resources are to be brought by the government and when there are resources, we will run it very smoothly”.

Gabriel Gatluak Deng, Deputy Chairperson of NCE said South Sudanese have high hopes in the commission and expect it to meet their aspiration as an independent body.

“Election is a serious undertaking. We have to see ourselves as members of the commission not representing parties. We have been nominated, we have been appointed by the parties or through the parties but we don’t represent them. We are here to work for the people of South Sudan through the constitution, the Elections Act and the Regulation,” said Gatluak.

On 4th November 2023, President Salva Kiir Mayardit reconstituted the National Elections Commission.

President Kiir re-appointed SPLM’s Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol to chair the NE, while Michael Yabagayo of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) was appointed Deputy Chairperson. Mac Maika Deng, a civil servant, was retained as the Chief Electoral Officer.

The commission is mandated by the 2018 Peace Agreement to undertake preparations and oversee the conduct of elections.

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