The main political party in Sudan's southern region – the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – has decided to widen its planned boycott of next week’s national elections.
The SPLM announced Tuesday it will not participate in any legislative or local elections in the north of the country.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, head of the Southern Sudan mission to the United States said the SPLM decision is based on concerns for electoral irregularities.
“The SPLM’s northern sector, they have decided that since Yasir Arman is withdrawing for the same irregularities and the problems that are facing the electoral process, they have concluded the same thing will apply to other positions. So the SPLM northern sector they have decided they are going to boycott the elections,” he said.
Gatkuoth said the SPLM southern sector has decided to participate in the elections in southern Sudan line with the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA).
“It is very important for the world to know that CPA was also meant to address the grievances of the people of southern Sudan. That’s in 2011 we are going to go for a referendum. And then in that referendum we will decide if we are going to be part of Sudan or we are seceding,” Gatkuoth said.
SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum told reporters Tuesday the SPLM will still participate in local elections in the south and in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Gatkuoth said the decision is also in line with the CPA.
“It is very important for you to know that the CPA states that the elected parliament of the two states in Northern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile they will be the ones to actually decide the future of the two states through a popular consultation, the same as having elections in the south,” Gatkuoth said.
He said southern Sudan will take part in the national elections scheduled for April 11-13) and predicted that President Salva Kiir of the autonomous southern Sudan will be re-elected.
“Yes, we are going to take part in the elections. From the president of the south to the members of parliament, SPLM is going to win in the south and President Salva (Kiir) will be re-elected as the people’s president of the south,” Gatkuoth said.