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Holding referendum on time will be a miracle, Sudanese official says

October 27, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Conducting the referendum process during the remaining short period will be a complete miracle, said the head of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission today.

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Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil (Sudan TV)

Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil made the remarks following a meeting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum with the First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayadrit who is also the president of southern Sudan government.

"The time is very short. It will be a complete miracle to conduct the referendum in the short remaining period. However, I still believe that the miracle can happen," Khalil told reporters on Wednesday.

The head of referendum body stressed that the process is facing increasing obstacles and it would be absurd to inform Sudanese that the process is easy to conduct. Lack of financial resource and time are cited among these obstacles.

Salva Kiir who took part in a meeting of the Sudanese presidency on the post referendum outstanding issues and Abyei refused in an interview published on Tuesday by Al-Sudani daily newspaper any delay for the vote on southern Sudan independence.

"We, in the southern government say to all that the referendum will be conducted on the ninth day of January next year, and will not give up on this date, even if America or any other party so requests, will not give up," Kiir stressed.

Voter registration is scheduled to begin on November 14 and last for three weeks until December 24. Campaigning will begin on December 7, and the final voters’ list will be published on December 31.

Khalil underlined that there will be only five days since the publication of the final voter lists.

"This is a violation of the (Southern Sudan Referendum) Act," he said.

He further said they wrote to the Sudanese presidency highlighting this point and they are still waiting its decision.

Khalil had already met with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to discuss this issue.

Salva Kiir disclosed in his interview that the National Congress Party has agreed to hold the referendum without the border demarcation, stressing that the NCP refused to perform it when he had asked for that before the national census and the elections.

(ST)