South Sudan: President Will Run for 2018 Election
South Sudan President Salva Kiir has suggested he will run for another term in office in 2018.
The president told a select group of political allies on Saturday that the people of South Sudan will decide whether he stays in power, not “others with [the] intention to install [a] puppet government to exploit resources.”
Kiir to run for 2018 election
South Sudan’s first and only president since it became an independent state in 2011 made his comments after a session of the cabinet on Saturday. The session came ahead of the proposed return of opposition leader Riek Machar and the establishment of a transitional government in the country.
However, President Kiir insists the return of opposition leaders to Juba does not mean his side has surrendered or that he will step aside as president.
“They are coming, yes we have accepted them to come but this should [not] be construed to mean we have surrendered or have accepted what they are after,” he insisted.
The people’s choice
Kiir also reaffirmed that he became the nation’s president because the people of South Sudan elected him and only they can tell him when to step aside.
“If the people come and say ‘go’, we will go,” the president said. “But if the people say ‘no, we still need you’, we stay on,” he added.
The president was referring to a campaign by his political rivals to have him step down from office. Some critics accuse Kiir and his government of prolonging South Sudan’s internal struggles with civil war, while his supporters claim opposition groups have sabotaged his efforts to lead the country.
Riek Machar’s proposed return on Monday would see the two rivals reunite and establish a transitional government under the terms of a peace deal they signed last year.