South Sudan’s cabinet has called off the general election scheduled to take place in June and plans to submit a proposal to parliament asking to extend President Salva Kiir’s term, Reuters reports. New elections are to take place in 2017.
This is the second such postponement since war broke out between Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar 14 months ago. According to Reuters, thousands have been killed and more than a million displaced since December 2013. Kiir and Machar had begun negotiating a power-sharing deal earlier this month, terms of which included a transitional government in place by July.
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“The cabinet decided yesterday to give peace a chance by calling off the elections and amending the constitution,” Michael Makuei, a government spokesman, told Reuters. The proposal to extend Kiir and parliament’s term’s is intended to avoid a vacuum of power should peace negotiations fall through, Makuei said.