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JUBA - 19 Nov 2013

South Sudan President dissolves SPLM structures

South Sudan president and chairman of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, declared in a unprecedented move on 15 November that he had dissolved all structures of the party. He revealed that only the office of the chairman and the secretariat will function until he appoints an interim body.

“The SPLM has dissolved itself. The office of the chairman is the only thing that cannot be dissolved,” the president of South Sudan and SPLM chairman Salva Kiir explained. “And now I have all the powers to set up committees to start re-organization from the grass roots.” The chairman made his remarks at the inauguration of the new SPLM office in Juba.

According to Kiir, the five-years term of the structures has elapsed last May when new leaderships should have been elected. He admitted that one of the party’s failures was that it did not build an office in Juba since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.

He also blamed the governors who are not chairpersons of the SPLM in Western Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, Lakes and Unity states. “This is what brought us all this unfortunate failure. The governors, as we call them, can be different from the chairmen of the party. That is a parallel governance and cannot make us succeed,” president Kiir said, followed by a round of applause from members of his party.


Senior members of the SPLM were not invited to the inauguration. Former Vice-President Riek Machar Teny condemned the action, saying the party chairman had violated the constitution and the party's regulations. In a statement extended to The Sudan Tribune, Machar described the move as a conspiracy, saying Kiir "should resign from the party chairmanship if he disliked the SPLM, instead of dismantling it".

Chairman Kiir added that the SPLM, party and secretariat, is dissolved but has been tasked to carry on party activities until its members are replaced or re-appointed into the office.

File photo