Former South Sudan chief peace negotiator Taban Deng Gai has been nominated for the position of First Vice-President.
Speaking at a press conference outside Crown hotel Juba, he announced his nomination after a meeting attended by 70% of the political bureau of the SPLM IO.
He stated that he was filling the post of FVP due to the vacuum created by the continuous absence of Dr Riek Machar Teny, and was ready to step aside should he return to take up his job.
He stated that there is nothing in the constitution of the SPLM IO or the peace agreement that requires for negotiation with the President in choosing a replacement for First Vice President.
“In the event that the First Vice President is absent, as you would recall that the first vice president has not discharged his function, because where he is now is not known, there is a vacuum which we must fill as the leadership of the SPLM IO,” he said.
He was asked about a letter posted on social media addressed to the President by Dr Riek Machar firing him, to which he replied that he had not come across the letter.
He added that it was somebody feigning it on social media.
He stated that the process for firing a Member of the political bureau, he should be charged with an offence and a committee would then be formed to decide on the matter.
He reaffirmed his commitment to working with the President in implementing the peace agreement, adding that he is determined to make the peace agreement will work.
Citing Article 1 (6.4) he responded to a question posed by a member of the press regarding rejection of his nomination by the President.
He said that he would return to the SPLM IO constitution and repeat the nomination process, adding that such a refusal would be against the provisions of the peace agreement.
In response to a question about members of the SPLM IO inside the POC camp rejecting his nomination, he stated that the POC camp is not a political camp retorting that they had no spokesperson.
He stated that he was working very hard with the President to support them so that they can return to their homes.
He added that he has been in consultation with some of the SPLA IO Generals.
He snapped back at the journalist who repeatedly asked him what he thought Dr Riek Machar would say about his nomination, “Are you in communication with him?”