Salva Kiir, president of the Republic of South Sudan, speaks during the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 27, 2014, in New York City.

South Sudan has postponed its upcoming elections this summer amid a violent power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, Reuters reports.

June elections have been postponed, and officials plan to ask Parliament to extend Kiir’s term through 2017, the report says. Against the backdrop of the infighting, thousands have been killed and more than a million have bolted from their homes since battles between supporters of the two broke out “in the world's newest nation in December 2013,” the news outlet writes.

Kiir and Machar agreed on an outline earlier this month, Reuters reports, and they are hoping to reach a final agreement by the end of March. Government spokesman Michael Makuei told Reuters that the proposal to extend Kiir and Parliament’s terms are scheduled to be presented to lawmakers on Tuesday.

“The Cabinet decided yesterday to give peace a chance by calling off the elections and amending the constitution,” Makuei told Reuters.


Elections were slated to be held in June, with Kiir’s and Parliament’s terms due to end in July. The spokesman told Reuters that the goal of the election extension is to avoid any power vacuum in case the government fails to reach a permanent deal. A transitional government needs to be in place by July, the report says.

Read more at Reuters.