November 3, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) announced it nearing a deal with Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) on disputed items of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a senior NCP official said today.
- Ibrahim Gandour (Photo SUNA)
The political Secretary General of the NCP Ibrahim Gandour was quoted by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying that the joint committees of both parties have reached agreement on issues including referendum law that will be announced within two days.
Gandour accused the SPLM of backtracking on the referendum agreements reached few weeks back between SPLM Vice President Riek Machar and Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha.
The two main peace partners had reportedly agreed the vote in 2011 referendum will require 51% simple majority votes to declare Southern Sudan an independent country as long as two-thirds of voters takes part.
However, later the South Sudan government refused to endorse the deal struck by Machar with Taha.
Gandour downplayed the extent of the deteriorating relations between his party and the SPLM saying that there are “positive meetings” held.
Machar said that the US special envoy Scott Gration has expressed concern over the growing political tension between the two sides disclosing that he proposed that the SPLM and NCP meet somewhere between 62 percent and 66 percent for the turnout rate.
As of yesterday the NCP refused adamantly to move below the 66% but Taha indicated willingness to extend the voting period by seven days to provide more opportunity for voters to show up.
The SPLM is currently boycotting the parliament accusing the NCP of stalling a bill that would restrict the powers of the National Intelligence and Security Bureau (NISS), something the NCP rejects.