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NCP-SPLM agree: Normal majority enough for South Sudan separation

December 14 - 2009 KHARTOUM

(By Radio Dabanga)

The National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached Sunday an agreement on several acts concerning the referendum in Southern Sudan to be held in 2011. A normal majority of more than 50% of the votes in favour of cessation of Southern Sudan from North-Sudan will be enough. The minimum turnout of 60% of the registered voters is sufficient for recognition of the results. The deputy chairman of the NCP, Nafie Ali Nafie, confirmed that a draft law concerning a referendum for self-determination of Southern Sudan and the possible separation from the North has been approved. The laws which have been agreed upon include the Acts on Referendum for Southern Sudan and Abyei and a Popular Consultation in South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Southern Blue Nile. The secretary general of the SPLM, Pagan Amum, told reporters on Sunday that the two parties reached an agreement on “these very important laws ending serious differences between the two parties”. He added that the parties agreed to form a committee to discuss remaining issues including a draft security law which SPLM fears might have given too much power to security forces. The committee to deal with the remaining issues will be under the chairmanship of Pagan Amum himself.

The two parties did not disclose the details of the agreement. But the government-sided newspaper Al Rai al Aam and also Al Sudani newspaper confirmed the details for the required turnout (60%) and majority (50% plus one).

Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the Umma-party, responded to the resolution stating that he proposes a political summit in the near future to address the issues of referendum, the borders and all other obstacles to the peace agreement. The cabinet meeting that took the decision was headed by President Omer Al Bashir. Sudan state news agency (SUNA) says that the package will be discussed on Monday before the National Assembly. It will be the first meeting of the National Assembly attended by the SPLM since a month and a half ago. Last week some prominent SPLM-politicians were arrested in front of the Assembly building protesting the NCP’s refusal to deal with the outstanding issues. Initially the NCP wanted only to recognize an outcome of the referendum for self-determination of the South if at least two thirds of the people would vote in favour of separation.

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