- Peter Lam Both (Photo credit: Eye Radio)
August 19, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has appointed Peter Lam Both, a former state governor as acting Secretary General of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), ending tenuous lobbying amongst several party aspirants.
Both, the state-owned television (SSTV) announced on Wednesday, replaces Jemma Nunu Kumba who is the speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).
The acting SPLM Secretary General had previously served as the deputy relief and rehabilitation commission at the national level and as a state minister of information in Upper Nile state before the country was split into 32 states in 2015 and 2016.
He later became the governor of Latjor state when more states were created through presidential establishment order.
Both contested for the seat with senior members of the party, notably the senior presidential adviser, Kuol Manyang Juuk, Eastern Equatoria state governor Louis Lobong Lajore and former Upper Nile state Governor Simon Kun Puoc. Kuol was depicted as a potential candidate for the position.
It is, however, not clear what transpired during lobbying in which Kiir decided to appoint a junior official at the expense of other high-ranking members in the structure.
Political analysts and commentators have been quick to attribute the cause to regional and ethnic balance in the hierarchical structure of the party.
Many believe the Secretary General of the ruling party should not go to an ethnic Dinka since the party’s chairman hails from Bahr el Ghazal and his deputy comes from Equatoria. The position of the Secretary General should then go to Upper Nile.