South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir pledged on Tuesday to hold the country’s first elections since independence next year and said he would run for the nation’s highest office as the flag bearer for his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.
Speaking during an event attended by SPLM supporters in the Greater Bahr El Ghazal region celebrating his party’s endorsement of his run for the presidency, Kiir said it is a signal that they are determined to hold credible and fair elections in 2024.
“As party members, let us work on the basis that there will be no extension of the transitional period and we have to go for the elections,” he said.
Kiir added that he will work with parties to the peace agreement to pave the way for elections to achieve permanent stability in the country.
Tens of thousands of people gathered at Wau Stadium to celebrate Kiir’s nomination as the SPLM’s candidate.
“I am deeply touched by your endorsement, and your continued support to our historic party gives me confidence that we will stand together as we head towards elections next year,” said Kiir, who has been the country’s only president since he led it to independence from Sudan in 2011.
He added that his government is doing everything possible to ensure that all the processes that are crucial to conducting the elections are put in place.