October 20, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Vice President of the republic and the Vice President of southern Sudan government and SPLM deputy chairman today resumed discussions on an agreement reached last week on the details of the 2011 referendum.
After 12 months of heated negotiations on referendum law, Ali Osman Taha and Dr Riek Machar last Thursday reached a breakthrough deal accordingly the South can secede with a simple majority but this requires a voter turnout of two-thirds.
The co-chairs of the Joint Political Executive Committee during talks they held Tuesday in Khartoum finalized other parts in the agreement but it should be endorsed by the leadership of the two peace signatories.
Machar is flying back to Juba on Wednesday morning for consultations with the SPLM leadership before the initialization of the agreement.
Once initialed by the two parties, the bill would then be presented to the national Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) before it goes to the national Council of Ministers and parliament for final endorsement by the current last session before the end of the year.
Up to last week the NCP and SPLM agreed that the referendum exercise would be organized during a period of three days from the 9th to 11th January 2011.
They have also agreed that the exercise of the referendum can be repeated within sixty (60) days in case the first exercise fails to attain the 2/3 voters turnout.
The agreement also included several other issues among which are the qualifications of voters and voting centers in addition to composition of the referendum commission.
Machar and Taha agreed on Tuesday night to start working on the Abyei referendum and Popular Consultations. At the same meeting, the two former foes discussed a proposal that would resolve the deadlock on census and election.