4 vie for South Sudan vice presidency

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Soldiers stand guard outside the bullet-scarred main gate of the presidential palace in Juba on July 15, 2016, where clashes between rival units this week left scores dead and set off battles elsewhere in the city. At least 300 people have been killed in four days of intense gunbattles in the capital of South Sudan and 42,000 have fled the city, the UN said on July 15. / AFP PHOTO / Peter MARTELL

By Radio Tamazuj

Four leading members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) are contesting for the vice president position in the unity government, an opposition official said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday, SSOA chairperson Josephine Joseph Lagu said Joseph Bakosoro, Dr. Lam Akol, Gen. Hussein Abdelbagi and Gabriel Changson are vying for the position, created by the 2018 peace agreement.

The opposition alliance, which is made up of nine organizations, is part of the revitalised peace deal brokered by the East African bloc IGAD.

Victoria University

The peace deal gives the alliance one vice president position, three ministerial positions, one deputy minister position and 50 seats in the national legislative assembly. The agreement reinstates SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar as first vice-president, one of five vice-presidents.

According to Lagu, the finalist candidate to assume the vice president position has not yet been approved by the opposition alliance, saying negotiations are underway to pick only one candidate.

“We are still struggling with the matter. But I am sure we will reach a conclusion in the coming two days because we have four political leaders who are vying for the vice president position,” she explained.

“In case of failure to reach a conclusion, we will refer the matter to the mediators and the other relevant bodies.  Former Western Equatoria Governor Joseph Bakosoro has expressed his interest openly but some of the candidates have not come out clearly.” she explained.

The opposition politician noted that the coalition will try to give due consideration to ethnic diversity and regional representation in the vice president position.

“We know that time is running out now to discuss the issue extensively. But we are planning to meet to find a solution to the issue because there should be somebody to assume the position,” she stressed.

Lagu said she has already received the list of MP nominees.

International pressure has been building on President Salva Kiir and opposition groups to meet a February 22 deadline to establish a transitional government of national unity.

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