Colonel Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro will become South Sudan's first ever Independent Governor after emerging triumphant from one of the most extraordinary elections in modern times. There were tumultuous scenes near his private residence through the night as many people at Masia in Yambio - and thousands more in the various counties of Western Equatoria State (WES) watching South Sudan TV and listening to radio stations celebrated the fact that Colonel Bakosoro had brought an emphatic end to the role of Jemma Nunu Kumba over WES.
Colonel Bakosoro campaigning in WES last month
It was announced by the NEC that Colonel Bakosoro won with over 5,000 plus votes over his SPLM rival Mrs Jemma Nunu Kumba. Jemma was handpicked by an SPLM politburo to win in the SPLM WES stronghold of Greater Mundri, Nzara, Yambio and Ezo. But exit polls over the last days have shown Colonel Bakosoro performing strongly among voters who regarded their security as the most important issue. Cutting a swath through counties in the east, and making deep incursions into once-solid SPLM strongholds, it was a dramatic night. Political analysts I spoke to said, Colonel Bakosoro's victory is unprecedented, as he inspired thousands from extemely varied cultural backgrounds cutting across normally divisive tribal loyalties.
After an often tempestuous campaign – Jemma is expected to deliver a gracious concession speech during Bakosoro's coming inauguration. The immense turnout in April's election was testament to the energy, excitement and expectations of a rejuvenated Western Equatorian democratic state, where the power of the vote won through.
The new Governor elect faces economic and social convulsions at home and Lords Resistance Army (LRA) conflicts imported from abroad.
On Monday 27th April, the NEC announced the winners of the 10 gubernatorial races with the SPLM apparently winning nine (9) out of ten (10) states of Southern Sudan. In CES, incumbent care-taker governor and SPLM candidate for the post, Clement Wani was declared winner. The other SPLM candidates are listed below:
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