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South Sudan Rejects UN-Run Elections

ateny_wek-798d1South Sudan’s government said it would not accept future elections or a census to be conducted by the United Nations, arguing it would undermine national sovereignty

“South Sudan is a sovereign country with sovereign institutions. If there is going to be elections, they will have to be organised by the people of South Sudan,” presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told the Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

“The role of the international community, including the United Nations, should be limited to support,” he added.

Ateny reiterated the government’s plans to hold elections in 2015 in accordance with the transitional constitution.

The government is seeking to reinforce its legitimacy to run the affairs of the country should it fail to reach an agreement with rebels under the leadership of former vice-president Riek Machar on the formation of a government of national unity.

“The people of South Sudan will conduct elections in 2015 as planned and the role of the international community will play for democratic purposes is to support the process, but if they do not [provide] support, any sovereign country can organise its own elections and this is what will happen,” Ateny said in an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune.

Ateny was reacting to a proposal by the country’s rebel faction that was seeking for future elections and census to be conducted by the United Nations in order to ensure credibility.

The comments come days after the head of the election commission told governors that the international community was not willing to support the conduct of the elections, although the government had asked states to make preparations.

South Sudan’s rebel faction is opposed to the general elections and census being conducted by the government.

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