Su­dan vote op­po­nents spread con­fu­sion: poll chief

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

KHAR­TOUM/ JUBA: Op­po­nents of a ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence for south Su­dan are threat­en­ing law­suits and spread­ing con­fu­sion to try to dis­rupt the vote, the chief of­fi­cial run­ning the plebiscite said on Satur­day.

The ac­cu­sa­tion came at a time of height­ened ten­sion around the poll, due next month. A south­ern of­fi­cial for the first time said her party would openly cam­paign for se­ces­sion, bring­ing a warn­ing from the north's rul­ing party that it might refuse to rec­og­nize the re­sult.

Mo­hammed Ibrahim Khalil, the head of the ref­er­en­dum's or­ga­niz­ing com­mis­sion, told Reuters he had been flooded with spu­ri­ous com­plaints and threats of law­suits, all ap­par­ently from the same group.

South­ern­ers are ex­pected to vote for in­de­pen­dence in the ref­er­en­dum, sched­uled to start on Jan­uary 9 and last a week.

South­ern lead­ers have ac­cused the north's rul­ing Na­tional Congress Party (NCP) of try­ing to find ways to dis­rupt the vote to keep con­trol of the re­gion's oil re­serves.

The ref­er­en­dum was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended a north-south civil war. Both sides have ac­cused each other of build­ing up troops close to their border in re­cent months.

"We have re­ceived com­plaints in iden­ti­cal terms from dif­fer­ent par­ties very clearly in­sti­gated by one main source, all of them ground­less ... The whole idea is to cre­ate con­fu­sion and give the idea that some­thing se­ri­ous is go­ing wrong," Khalil, a north­erner, said. He de­clined to say who he thought was be­hind the cam­paign of dis­rup­tion.

State-linked me­dia re­ported ear­lier that a group called the Higher Coun­cil for Peace and Unity had filed a "con­sti­tu­tional case" against the com­mis­sion and the south's dom­i­nant Su­dan Peo­ple's Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment (SPLM), say­ing they had vi­o­lated the law gov­ern­ing the vote.

Se­nior SPLM mem­ber Yasir Ar­man dis­missed the new case say­ing it was "base­less and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated by the NCP."

Sep­a­rately, in the south­ern cap­i­tal Juba, se­nior SPLM mem­ber Anne Itto said the party would cam­paign for south­ern­ers to vote for in­de­pen­dence, aban­don­ing a le­gal fic­tion that the move­ment was neu­tral. -Ap

CARA­CAS: Venezuela's Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez (L) and United Arab Emi­rates' For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Ab­dul­lah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) talk dur­ing a meet­ing at Mi­raflo­res Palace in De­cem­ber 11, 2010. -Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.