RJMEC Interim chairperson, Gen. Charles Tai Gituai. (File photo)

RJMEC welcomes reconstitution of electoral, key institutions

The body mandated to monitor the progress of the implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement, the reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) on Thursday lauded the recent reconstitution of the National Elections Commission (NEC), The Political Parties Council (PPC), and the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC).

The body mandated to monitor the progress of the implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement, the reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) on Thursday lauded the recent reconstitution of the National Elections Commission (NEC), The Political Parties Council (PPC), and the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC). 

Last week, President Salva Kiir reconstituted the three entities and appointed officials to lead them.

In a decree read on the state-owned television, South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, Kiir reconstituted the NEC and reappointed the incumbent chairperson, SPLM’s Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol.

He also appointed South Sudan Opposition Alliance’s (SSOA) Michael Yabagayo as NEC deputy chairperson and Mac Maika Deng, a civil servant, was retained as the Chief Electoral Officer.

Addressing the RJMEC monthly plenary meeting held in Juba on Thursday, RJMEC Interim chairperson, Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, said the reconstitution of the three bodies is essential to the opening of civic space and the conduct of free and fair elections in December next year. 

“On the reconstitution of the institutions as mentioned above, much is expected of them. I would therefore like to highlight some of the aspects of their critical roles regarding South Sudan’s democratic transition,” he stated. “In particular, the PPC is mandated to register, monitor, and regulate the activities of political parties, the NCRC will drive forward the permanent constitution-making process and the NEC will undertake preparations for the conduct of elections.”

Gen. Gituai however said the parties violated the 35 percent representation reserved for women while appointing officials to the three bodies.

“Our preliminary analysis of the appointees to these institutions reveals that overall, the reconstituted PPC attained 50 percent women representation. However, the women’s presentation in the reconstituted NCRC is 33 percent, and in the reconstituted NEC, it is 22 percent,” Gituai said. “The RJMEC reiterates its appeal to the parties to always adhere to the 35% minimum representation for women in various institutions and bodies of the peace agreement.”