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Sudan Ruling Party Official Expects Secession Vote Result

  • Peter Clottey

Southern Sudan Referendum Commission staff members prepare the official counting of votes on South Sudanese independence, 16 Jan 2011

A senior member of Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) said his party expects the outcome of the just-ended referendum to be “secession.”

Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA the commitment shown by the NCP towards the referendum should send, in his words, a strong signal to President Barack Obama’s administration to keep to its promises, including normalizing relations with the government in Khartoum, as well as removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

President Obama described the southern Sudan referendum as an inspiration to the world.

Dr. Rabie Abdelati Obeid is prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)
Dr. Rabie Abdelati Obeid is prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)

“The expectation of the NCP is that maybe the majority registered for the vote in the referendum already conducted is secession because of a lot of factors. The NCP is also ready whenever it is clear that there is no violation, no undermining of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) or undermining (of) the Referendum Act,” said Obeid.

“The NCP is ready to accept and recognize the result even if it is secession.”

Early voting results in southern Sudan's historic referendum indicate the region has overwhelmingly voted to become the world's newest country.

Preliminary results will be announced on 31st January and final results are expected by 14th February. Election officials have confirmed that voter turnout far exceeded the 60 percent mark needed to make the poll valid.

Obeid expressed the hope that Washington will reward the NCP’s commitment towards the full implementation of the CPA, including the referendum.

“The complete fulfillment of the promise of the Sudan government to implement the CPA, this will lead the United States of America to normalize relations and to fulfill also the promises that they already declared by the United States administration to (remove) Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and to lift the sanctions,” said Obeid.

“We don’t want (only) congratulations, we want (that) after congratulations, the fulfillment of promises of the United States to normalize relations and not to use double standards with Sudan.”

Meanwhile, international poll observers who monitored the referendum described the vote as peaceful transparent, free and fair.