SPLM Spokesman Calls for Greater Press and Political Freedom

June 3, 2009 (SRS)

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has reaffirmed that it will not allow elections to take place unless there is freedom of the press and freedom to engage in political discussion.

The spokesman of SPLM, Yien Mathew, told a meeting at the Popular Congress Party’s headquarters on Tuesday night that his party would not continue in government if these basic freedoms no longer existed.

[Yien Mathew]: “The issue of freedom is fundamental. There will be no elections without these freedoms. Let me tell you, SPLM is ready for the coming elections through campaigns despite all these obstacles. Should we go to the polls with these laws that restrict people’s freedom and allow police to disrupt political rallies? Are we able to speak freely there? We are calling for parties to meet in Juba so that we discuss ways of opposing these issues through the SPLM. We can’t remain in a partnership like that.”

Speaking at the same meeting, the political secretary of the PCP, Mr. Kamal Omar demanded that the National Congress Party should guarantee political freedom for other parties before the coming elections.

He added that his party is in support of a transitional government that would oversee next year’s elections.

On Monday, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim el-Tahir, an NCP official, told the recently registered political parties that the country now enjoys political freedoms “more than ever” and wanted those parties to work for a peaceful change of government.


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