SPLM downplays NCP's elections overture


The head of mission at the government of Southern Sudan liaison office in Kenya, Mr John Andruga Duku. (Photo: Daily Nation)

(Nairobi NSV) - The Sudan People's Liberation Movement Party is lending a cold shoulder to Wednesday's offer by the National Congress Party of President Bashir to back Salva Kiir for the presidency of the south in the upcoming elections.

A spokesman for the NCP said yesterday his party had resolved not to field a candidate against South Sudan President Kiir in the spirit of the Government of National Unity, where the two are peace partners. 

"We hope the SPLM will do the same by withdrawing their candidate for the President of the Republic," NCP presidential adviser Ali Tamim Fartak told Reuters news agency.

However, on Thursday,  Head of Southern Sudan Mission to Kenya, Mr John Andruga Duku said Khartoum  has cut negotiations with Juba. He told reporters in Nairobi the  NCP was "blackmailing" the south to withdraw the candidacy of Yasir Arman, who has been picked as SPLM national presidential candidate against incumbent President Omar Bashir.   

"We learned yesterday that [National Congress Party] suspended their dialogue with SPLM on condition that they can only resume this dialogue if SPLM withdraws its candidacy for presidency of the republic of Sudan," he said.

Duku said the South Sudan government was asking for external intervention to safeguard the CPA implementation, accusing President Bashir of sabotaging the Southern Sudan Referendum Act by refusing to sign the Act approved by the Sudan parliament in December.  

“If he does not sign the law, the referendum may not take place,” Duku told a press conference in Nairobi.

Because the law is not implemented, he said, the establishment of the Referendum Commission which was to begin preparing the electorates for the vote has been delayed. He said delaying the Commission further could derail the 2011 referendum.  

“I know the government in Khartoum does not want the referendum to take place and that is why they are dragging their feet. They know that the southerners want to remain on their own,” Duku said.  

“People have suffered for years as they feel that they are not part of Sudan. So if the referendum does not take place, they will suffer heavily."

The NCP's facing a stiff challenge from formidable parties like SPLM, Umma, Democratic Unionist, Popular Congress, Communist Party, Umma Reform and Renewal, Sudan Alliance Forces and Socialist Democratic Union.  

Meanwhile, SPLM Secretary General, Pagan Amum told NCP thanks, but no thanks over their 'support' for Salva Kiir for the south Sudan presidency.  

“They may be worried but that is normal ... they have mismanaged the country for the last 21 years,” SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum told Reuters on Wednesday.

“Lam Akol is the NCP candidate ... the NCP was collecting signatures for Lam Akol in south Sudan,” he said.  


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