OPP demands more senior positions in states

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The Other Political Parties (OPP) – a fourth party to the September 2018 peace agreement – has demanded more senior positions at the state level, after having missed out on a governor position.

The agreement allocated the OPP 8 percent of power-sharing in state governors, state cabinets, state legislatures, county commissioners, and local councils levels.

But in June, a deal on the allocation of state governors between President Salva Kiir and the leader of the opposition SPLM-IO, Riek Machar, failed to allocate a state to the Other Opposition Parties.

Albino Akol Atak, the coordinator for OPP, told Radio Tamazuj on Thursday last week that they held an intensive meeting with representatives of the unity government to discuss issues about responsibility sharing ratio at the state and local government levels provided for in the peace agreement.

He said the OPP was supposed to nominate a governor for one of the country’s 10 states, but its slot was allocated to another political party. “For the government to have six governors and zero for the OPP is a clear violation of the provisions of the peace agreement,” said Akol.

The OPP official underscored that they should be allowed to nominate two deputy governors and two state assembly speakers.

“For us not to be seen as obstacles of peace, we have given this condition and it should be in writing and documented as an annex to the agreement,” he stressed.

Akol, who is also the secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) party, said the OPP believes denying them the position of a governor deprived them of having an upper hand in seriously engaging in the implementation of the peace agreement.

“The agreement talks about reform programs and for these reforms to be carried out, you need to be at the center of the decision- making process. A state speaker is a top legislation figure who can influence some law reforms,” he said.

“We are working to distribute several state ministries, members of the assemblies and county commissioners. We hope that our new demand shall be resolved during these meetings,” he added.

Akol, however, reiterated their full commitment to implement the peace agreement for the sake of peace in the country.

“Yes, there should be a compromise, but we believe it should be reasonable,” he said.

The parties to the revitalized peace agreement are yet to reconstitute the national parliament and appoint state ministers.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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