South Sudan should be ready to accept elections results: UNGA president

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Denis Francis, on Friday called on South Sudanese to be ready to accept the results of the upcoming 2024 General Election.

Addressing journalists at a press conference held in Juba, Francis urged the people of South Sudan to honor the result of the election when it comes.

“And we’ve been doing it ever since without any problems. There’s never been a problem. The issue is, and has to be, and I hope that the people of South Sudan will feel comfortable enough and strong enough to accept and honor the result of the election when it comes. Because that is what elections are supposed to do. The election of a government is the right of the people to express their will regarding who should govern them. That is their constitutional right,” said Francis.

Francis said South Sudan has the capacity to hold credible elections in December 2024.

“Now, the premise of your question seems to be that you have some doubt or question about South Sudan’s ability, never having done it before, to organize and hold a credible election. But South Sudan would not be the first or only country to hold an election that never held an election before. Countries do that all the time. And the elections are free and fair and free from fear. People are allowed to go and express their vote.”

He said there were mechanisms to assist and support the authorities of South Sudan to execute the election if it lacks the necessary expertise to carry out the election.

“If the authorities in South Sudan, believe that they do not have all of the necessary expertise to carry out the election in a way that would give the electors, the people of South Sudan, the comfort of knowing that the elections are free, then there are mechanisms available to assist and support the authorities of South Sudan to execute the elections,” he said.

“There are international organizations set up that have been doing this for years and years and years. And who, if requested, if the government feels the need, I’m sure would be prepared to accompany the government and support their effort in getting a clear, good, strong outcome that is not questionable.”

South Sudan has not held an election since it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 and the country is plagued by violence, poverty and political disputes.

A peace deal was signed in 2018 between President Salva Kiir and key opposition factions that laid out a transition period to pave the way for elections.