March 9, 2010 (Malakal) — The ruling party of Southern Sudan is planning to suspend salaries of independent Candidates who are running for seats without the SPLM’s seal of approval.
Reliable source confirmed that the plan has been secretly debated by some top party officials who felt the former party members have abandoned them in bad faith and deserve some kind of punishment.
The SSNA talked to one independent candidate in Malakal and asked him about what he thinks regarding the widely rumored plan.
“Yes, I heard the news over a week ago. This is one of the SPLM’s payback plans, no worry; leave it to the people to decide. Actually, Some of my friends who are SPLM members told me that such a plan will be use indirectly by the governing party but only in some selected counties”, he recalls.
However, one prominent member of the SPLM party was asked by the SSNA if he has any knowledge about the ongoing development.
“I don’t know, I don’t know, but those who quitted the party should not keep meddling in our party business. They left and the peoples’ party still exists, he responded. How can you accommodate someone who his only goal is to look after self interests? He asks. Calling yourself independent candidate because you want to get a position is something no body knows except the so call independents candidates” he added.
One Observer who asked not to be name puts it this way. “If this turn out to be true as it seems to be then it will be the most outrageous political decision ever made by the SPLM".
He calls the plan "irresponsible and undemocratic" and suggests the SPLM scraps it.
Most independent candidates are former SPLM figures who think the Political Bureau (PB), the SPLM’s highest decision making body, was wrong in candidates’ selection process, and accused the bureau of acting against the choices of the people.
Serious differences emerged after the PB has turned down candidates who were first recommended as “qualified” by electoral authorities in their respected States and later replaced with candidates the PB calls “loyal and long serving members.”
The autonomous government of Southern Sudan is being led by the SPLM, a ruling party in the South, and main partner to the CPA.