South Sudan government recently tabled a bill to propose the extension of President Salva Kiir’s term until 2021.
The bill, which was tabled in parliament on Monday, has been termed illegal by the opposition, who claim that it is undermining the peace process in the country.
South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation, has been undergoing civil strife since 2013 after the government and the opposition, led by Riek Machar disagreed.
The disagreement saw the death of ten of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of others.
The two factions signed a new peace deal last week, in a meeting moderated by Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. However, the ceasefire between the two factions was violated minutes after it begun on Saturday, June 30.
In April this year, Kiir had termed ridiculous the demands by the opposition that he resigns as a key factor in the peace process.
“They want me to sign the agreement and then step down immediately. Just imagine, what is my incentive in bringing peace if it is peace that I will bring and then I step aside? Nobody can do it. Bashir (Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir) didn’t do it when we are fighting with them.”
The bill to extend presidential term is to be signed into law by the end of the month, according to Deputy Paul Yoane Bonju.
Many believe that the bill will pass as the government holds a majority parliament. According to legislator Atem Garang, “If they don’t extend it there will be anarchy and war. You’ll have a country without a government.”