Opinion

Lessons to learn from Republican Party

It was morning Saturday June 24, 2017, when I was reading the News entitle; “Republican Party launched”, it was not a surprise to many members of the ruling party. According to Juba Monitor Daily Newspaper date June 24, 2017, volume 7 issue No.1090 page 2.The formation of the new party was under the leadership of Lewis Anei Madut. He was one the architect of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM). He had this to say to his supporters, “I decided to come out from SPLM party to have a space to talk because we tried to correct things when we were still in the party for the last 10 years but we failed to transform it. We have formed the new party to correct such things and so many people of this country should come and join the party for the betterment of this country.” It is wonderful statement that I really appreciated but at wrong time. Mr. Anei should have resigned early when things were not going the right way. It took him ten (10) years to come out from SPLM after thousands of people had lost their lives. He (Anei) is a part of the mess within the SPLM during those ten years. In my own opinion: nobody who joins and come out from SPLM is holy. I am not exaggerating; it is truth that you cannot deny it. If you could with count from 2010 -2017, most of the people who rebel against the government were SPLM members starting with George Athor, Gabriel Tangnyang, Peter Gatdet, Johnson Oliny, Riek Machar, Thomas Cirilio, Joseph Bakasoro  and veteran rebels like David Yauyau, Barnaba Kisanga and many others out there. One may ask himself or herself this disturbing question, is SPLM a party for rebellion?  Looking first at the SPLM, its doctrine or beliefs are, in 1983-1994, by no means are clear cut as when the party constitution was adopted during the formative stage. Intra-party conflict is one of the features of party politics. Deviation of nature of men that makes them adopt different approaches and stance on issues creates this atmosphere in SPLM. Frankly speaking, the 1994 manifesto will rescue SPLM from political violence, not 2008 documents. The breaking away of Republican Party from SPLM should serve lesson to its leaders. It was first SPLM-DC which renegade against their comrades 2009 during difficult times.

A political party is a collection of men and women who share in similar philosophy but expression of divergent views within a political organization incline members to articulate different views or interests which sometimes invite intra party conflicts which if not managed well, like what happened to the SPLM December 2013.This writer is not a member of SPLM or any political party in this country. I am just a watchdog. I like to inform people.

Conflict is common in all social groups and inevitable but we must always differentiate genuine and healthy intra-party conflict from tendency where individuals pursue their personal or individual parochial interest to the harm of the party. Labour Party in United Kingdom (UK) went through same intra party clashes between their leaders and it was not based on individuals’ personal interests, but rebelling. This is a good example SPLM must consider intra party democracy as a central principle of its philosophy.

The sovereignty of the party is Paramount and decisions by the party must be based on that philosophy, the need to promote an image of unity and efficiency is now and must avoid the tendency of allowing its members of taking up arms. The party must have its set of goals which represent the realities of the time and pursuance of these set of goals would limit the destructive impact of internal conflicts. Being a human organization with people holding conflicting views, intra party conflict will remain a recurrent phenomenon and will continue to find expression in different forms and at different stages in the process of making the party all want it to be.

Ideologically I think the SPLM has departed sharply from its philosophy of taking the towns to the people. How to reach out to its natural base should be the SPLM focus. This is the reason why the SPLM must quickly get out of its internal clashes to begin serious work on policy formulation for the public to know which policies the party could be identified with.

The failure of the SPLM to deliver on its promises is where we are today. SPLM must work to identify itself with popular and its opponents with unpopular attitudes on major issues.
There are other issues worth the attention of all SPLM leadership. How their candidates are selected and the leadership influence on the selection process. Because the SPLM is rooted in the communities, it is important it takes serious look at the issue to avoid the incidence witnessed during the last April 2010 elections and their negative effects or consequences on the overall results of the party. I don’t see the wisdom in someone who may not be popular or, not known in a constituency, contesting a sitting member of parliament, contesting a sitting MP. Such moves have their negative psychological effects on the core party base, as well as the public. Can the SPLM as liberation movement recapture its true philosophy to meet the thinking of the South Sudanese who are much more prone to think in class terms and for its natural base to see the SPLM as a party ready to protect their interest. It is not about lacking intellectuals or not utilising its intellectual base rather, the party at a point departed from its policy of looking at all areas such as “taking the towns to the people”. I am not more interested in the old revolutionary mindset.

The writer can be reached via: riakmading@gmail.com or contact: +211927020700

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