The Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) elected the new primate and Archbishop over the weekend in Juba.
Bishop of Maridi diocese, Justin Badi Arama, was elected as the new primate and Archbishop, to succeed Bishop Dr. Daniel Deng Bul who announced his retirement in July last year.
The election for a new bishop could not happen until it was approved by the House of Bishops last Friday.
The newly elected Bishop Badi won against his challenger, Abraham Yel Nhial, the Bishop of Aweil by just one vote.
Out of 159 participants, he obtained eighty votes while his rival, Bishop Nhial got 79 counts.
More than 70 bishops of the South Sudan’s Episcopal Church participated in the one – day elections exercises and many who spoke to the Africanews correspondent in Juba described the election as ‘free and fair’.
Archbishop Badi will now head the church for the next ten years according to the ECS canonical constitution.
Archbishop Badi will be expected to work for peace, restore trust and heal wounds among South Sudanese through evangelism.
Many South Sudanese hope that such an exercise in the church can symbolically herald the peaceful transfer of political power in the young but politically troubled nation.