UN denies proposing elections delay

Media Monitoring Report, December 2, 2008
(various sources)

Al-Akhbar reports that at the time when the proposal to postpone elections is facing a wide rejection from all the political forces including the ruling party, UN presented a new interpretation of the controversial suggestion. UNMIS informed source denied that the Mission made a direct proposal to that end.

The source, which was replying to the paper’s question, explained that what had actually happened was that the Mission officials, while reviewing elections schedules as per the CPA which provides that general elections at all levels should take place not later than 10 July 2009, noted that this period is a rainy season and a peak of autumn particularly in southern Sudan, a matter which imposes two options: Either to advance elections schedule to take place in April before the rainy season which is difficult if not impossible because elections need preparations such as funding, technical and logistic facilities, or to postpone them.

“We are here to assist the Sudanese to ensure proper CPA implementation. We do not interfere in matters beyond our mandate which does not include setting elections schedule,” the source emphasized.

Meanwhile, Al-Sahafa reports NCP official Ghazi Salah Al-Din has declared his party’s adherence to the elections schedule. However, he said efforts are underway to achieve political consensus on this matter, adding conduction of elections or otherwise is a national issue. “UN is not the body concerned with determining elections schedule. I am also not sure how far this opinion is representative within UN. It may be a personal opinion,” he said. “Holding elections should be a national issue, he said, noting thatthe NCP is keen to have them on schedule. “The CPA and the Interim National Constitution decide on how elections should be conducted and delayed. We will stick to that,” he said.

According to Al-Khartoum President Bashir has reiterated that elections would be held on schedule.


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