Government to rely on 2008 population census to conduct elections

The revitalized transitional government of national unity (R-TGoNU) has revealed that it will use the 2008 population census to conduct the upcoming elections slated for December 2024.
Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Professor Abednego Akok speaks to reporters at a press conference in Juba on Tuesday [Photo: Awan Achiek]

By Awan Achiek

The revitalized transitional government of national unity (R-TGoNU) has revealed that it will use the 2008 population census to conduct the upcoming elections slated for December 2024.

“With us, the law says that registration must begin with 18 years and above and in our current situation, we are going to use the 2008 population census,” Prof. Abednego Akok, the Chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC) said on Wednesday during a press conference in Juba.

Akok said they will start voter registration in June ahead of the elections.

“In 2015, I made some contact with countries which did elections without census. They advised that you begin with the registration of voters according to what the law of the nation says,” Akok said.

He said he wrote to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to provide legal advice related to the National Election Act.

“There are some discussions which the political leaders will do. In the National Election Act, there are 332 seats, I wrote now to the Ministry of Justice to discuss this and then pass it to the national legislative assembly,” Akok said.

“When we divide it, 50 per cent to geographical, 50 per cent professional representation and 5 per cent to be appointed by the elected President and when you evaluate them, they don’t come together,” he said.

 Akok said a “draft timetable” had been drawn up for the first-ever elections in the country’s history.

South Sudan has not held an election since it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 and the nation is plagued by chronic violence, poverty and natural disasters.

The Sudanese government conducted the 2008 population census before the historic 2011 referendum that created South Sudan.

The results estimated the population of southern Sudan at around eight million.

The authorities in the southern region rejected the census results.

They said they disagreed with the population estimate and claimed many anomalies in how the process was conducted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *