Western Equatoria State Goes Against the Wind

In new political twist, Western Equatoria State, the only South Sudanese state to be run by a female Governor, has become the only state where an independent candidate has been elected Governor.

Western Equatoria State Goes Against the Wind
Newly-elected Western Equatoria State Governor Bangassi Joseph Mario Bakosoro. [©Gurtong]

By Clement Gbatanawo

YAMBIO, 27 April 2010 (Gurtong) –Bangassi Joseph Mario Bakosoro defeated the immediate former Governor Jemma Nunu Kumba, in a hotly- contested election that was marred by allegations of fraud, intimidation and threats on elections officials.

Residents at the state capital Yambio received news of his election early yesterday through the state-owned radio Yambio FM and immediately went into celebration frenzy.

They thronged the residence of the new Governor-elect and joined him in celebrating his hard-fought win over the first post-CPA female Governor in South Sudan.

“I urge all of you to stay calm as you celebrate our victory. I am a governor of all the people of Western Equatoria; from Mvolo to Nagero counties and even those from other states in South Sudan living here. I will work with you to bring development”, Bakosoro said.

“No one will be treated as a foreigner as long as you are a Sudanese and abide by the culture of your host community”, Bakosoro reminded the jubilant residents.

However, the delay of the announcement of the results created a pile up of tensions and speculation amongst the state residents as most foresaw violence after the announcement of the results.

The deployment of SPLA troops within Yambio created fear amongst the residents who felt there would be chaos similar to those experienced in January just after the CPA celebrations held in the town.

“I am happy and satisfied with the work that has been done by the National Elections Commission (NEC) because the preliminary results had showed that Bakosoro will win”, said a lady supporter of the wining candidate.

In Western Equatoria State, unlike other states where preliminary results showed independent candidates leading but were later declared losers, the residents of southwestern South Sudan and the electoral officials have come out boldly to practice true democracy.

While conceding defeat, Kumba congratulated Bakosoro while thanking her supporters for their excellent work during the campaigns and elections.

Posted in: Home, Elections
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