South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has dropped the strongest hint yet of his intention to retire from the country’s leadership ahead of the 2023 elections.The watershed polls would signal an end to the ongoing political transition.
“When we go for elections, new faces will come in, not from the people who are working in the government now, but people you haven’t seen before and that way we will have peace in our country. From now, you prepare yourselves to engage with the grassroots, so that they know the program of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement” Sudans Post quoted President Kiir as saying.
His hint at bowing from the political stages comes amidst growing agitation in Juba and other towns and cities across the country about unfulfilled promises made during the country’s fight for independence.
Activists calling themselves the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) have called on disgruntled South Sudanese to take to the streets demanding Kirr’s resignation.
Kiir has been South Sudan’s president since the country seceded from the rest of Sudan and became independent in July 2011.
He was speaking in his capacity as the chairman of the ruling SPLM at a youth function in Juba recently.
The South Sudanese leader said it was his conviction that a comprehensive democratic exercise culminating in elections in 2023 would bring a definitive end to eight years of political strife which has killed tens of thousands and displaced over three million people since December 2013.
Kiir,70, did not mention a possible successor, fueling speculations that his son Thiik Mayardit is being groomed for the position.
Thiik has since been appointed as deputy executive director in the Office of the President.