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Monday, 09/20/2010

Referendum body says no intention to ask delay of January vote



Wednesday 11 August 2010  
August 10, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Southern Sudan Referendum Commission denied its intention to ask the Sudanese presidency to postpone the referendum scheduled for January 2011.

The official denial comes after statements published last Saturday by a member of the commission saying that some arrangements required in the conduct of referendum will have to be skipped if the vote was to be held as planned in January.
Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Southern Sudan ruling party SPLM, rejected the request stressing "any attempt to delay the referendum would be considered as reneging on the CPA".
The Chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, in remarks aired by the Sudanese radio on Monday dismissed reports about the intention of the Commission to submit a request for the president to delay the referenda on southern Sudan independence.
Demanding to delay the referendum is a "political valuation and the Commission has a legal and constitutional mission according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Interim Constitution and the referendum law," Khalil pointed out.
Tarek Osman Al-Tahir, a member of the commission who requested the delay said that it would be impossible for the commission to achieve the completion of voters’ registration three months before the vote as required by the law.
"We have only two choices left: skip some of the procedures, which would be unacceptable because it could affect the endorsement of the referendum result or resort to the other choice of a limited delay to the referendum timetable to complete these procedures," Tahir said.
However Khalil said they filed a letter to the presidency in which they demanded more support to enable the referendum commission to perform its functions. He further, said the commission will start work next week.
He reaffirmed the completion of the structures of the Commission in the south by 80%, adding that they are currently preparing a budget for the referendum process.
He said the referendum body signed a number of agreements with the United Nations and U.S. Aid to provide technical and logistical support for the referendum.












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