the semi-autonomous south said it is ready for the planned national elections
once the newly appointed independent electoral commission decides on the date.
The Sudan parliament approved the electoral commission last month to conduct
national elections by next year July in fulfillment of the 2005 Comprehensive
But a senior member of the ruling National Congress Party,
Nafi Ali Nafi reportedly accused opposition political parties of seeking to
postpone the elections so that the opposition can raise the issue of forming a
broader coalition government.
Pagan Amum is Secretary
General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Minister for
Cabinet Affairs in the Government of National Unity of Sudan. He told VOA
the SPLM wants to win the elections to form the next
national government of Sudan.
"SPLM has made its position
very clear. We are ready to participate in the elections when the date of
election is declared by the electoral commission. It is only the electoral
commission that has the power set the date of election and / or to postpone
these elections," he said.
Senior member of the ruling
National Congress Party, Nafi Ali Nafi reportedly accused opposition political
parties of seeking to postpone the elections so that the opposition could raise
the issue of forming a broader coalition government.
Amum said only the ruling
National Congress has reasons to call for postponement of the elections.
"It is only the National
Congress who should be interested in the postponement of elections. So he
cannot be accusing political parties, who are not in the government, to call
for the postponement of elections. The only party that is interested in the
postponement of elections is the National Congress because they know they have
been the incumbent party for about 19 years. They know their popularity has
also waned since long," Amum said.
He denied any knowledge of a
United Nations panel of experts reportedly telling South Sudan to consider
postponing the elections, originally scheduled for July 2009 to the end of the
"I have no information of
the U.N. advising the government of southern Sudan. But if the U.N. has any
expert opinion this should be directed to the electoral commission which is the
only body that has the power to determine the day of the election or to
postpone them for technical reasons," he said.
Amum reiterated that SPLM
was ready to participate in the elections.
"The SPLM is ready to
contest these elections, and it's offering itself, its program and manifesto to
the Sudanese people, and our aim is to win the absolute majority of the vote of
our people so that we form the next government at the national level, at the
level of Southern Sudan and also at the state level," Amum said.
The Sudan parliament
approved the electoral commission last month, and Amum said he was confident
the commission could conduct free and fair elections.
"This is a question that you
can put to the electoral commission itself, but we are confident that the
electoral commission, the way it has been composed, is a credible body. It's
composed of very experienced statesmen, people who are known for their
integrity," he said.
Amum appealed to the
international community to provide support to the electoral commission, the
Sudan government and political parties so facilitate a free and fair election.