What after SPLM’s Loss of South Kordofan State?
By: Mona Al Bashir
12 May, 2011 (Sudan Vision Daily)
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Leader in the South: If we feel losing elections in South Kordufan in preliminary results, our plan is to stage demonstrations by sons of the Nuba in the region and across the towns of northern Sudan.
National Congress Party (NCP) warns SPLM of creating chaos, calls it to accept the results.
The head of National Elections Commission (NEC) for South Kordofan his office due to threats by SPLM, seeks help from the headquarters of National Elections Commission
14 political parties condemn SPLM protest because they were witness to the process of increasing centers.
It is true that the final results of South Kordufan elections have not come out yet but there are indications that National Congress Party’s (NCP) candidate, Justice Ahmed Mohamed Haroun will emerge victorious, which prompted Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to get into a state of unrest evident in its withdrawal from vote count committees as a preemptive step to voice complaints.
Observers hold that such unrest within SPLM poses threat to not only south Kordufan but also the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) considering that the state is part of the three signatory regions to the peace deal with special protocol known as “the protocol of the three regions”. The region is of paramount importance for NCP and SPLM the reason why conflict is starting to renew amid reports about NCP’s victory over SPLM and the latter’s threat to burn the entire northern Sudan if failed to get this rich region.
Despite SPLM is no longer part of North Sudan in the wake of south Sudan secession awaiting official declaration of and independent entity in south Sudan July 9, some of its prominent leaders belonging to the Nuba Mountains – part of north Sudan- such as Abdul-Aziz al-Helo – still affiliated to SPLM, which shows the reason why SPLM is resolved to ensure that al-Helo wins the elections to have control over the region in the future if not actually seeking to include the region to south Sudan as planned. Accordingly, any failure of the SPLM candidates will not benefit south Sudan hence comes threats and determination to create havoc in the event SPLM loses contest.
SPLM obstructs, threatens
On May 2 complementary elections for South Kordufan state started amid intensive international and media concern. Following end of voting process and the beginning of votes count with preliminary results showing the victory of NCP’s candidate, SPLM was provoked and began to create crisis after crisis starting with trading accusations with the state’s elections committee over a proposal presented by the commission to all political forces involved in reviewing results last Thursday regarding the formation of 4 technical committees from NCP and SPLM instead of one committee in an attempt to speed up reviewing process and announcement of the result. It was agreed to by both parties. However, SPLM has backed down on its position and boycotted the process turning down the proposal for the 4 committees; hence evoking accusations and counter accusations by the commission and SPLM that resulted in tension within the premises of the commission, especially after SPLM deployed a great deal of its forces around the premises of the commission. As the result, the commission has closed its offices and sought help from the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Khartoum. After that, the head of the commission for South Kordufan, Adam Abdeen left his office due to threats by SPLM, according to observers.
Earlier last April, SPLM prior to the elections took a preemptive threatening step revealing a scheme to create chaos in the north in case of losing elections in South Kordufan in the initial count. A northern source close to SPLM leader, said the leader affirmed to a European state he met recently SPLM’s preparations for controlling South Kordufan in case NCP wins the elections there. Another SPLM leader in the South said If we feel that we are losing elections in South Kordufan in preliminary results, our plan is to stage demonstrations by sons of the Nuba in the region and across the towns of northern Sudan, especially Darfur to push NCP into using force in order to trigger military operations in the region to distract the NCP to enable the people of Nuba Mountains to control South Kordufan.
Indeed, SPLM intensified deployment of its troops on May 9 around the town of Kadogoli and mobilized its political elements around the elections commission. Meanwhile, security committee in the state has completed full preparations for any hostile actions that may accompany announcement of the final results. The ruling National Congress has further revealed SPLM’s intention to carry out acts of sabotage across the region.
Warns of chaos
The NCP has warned SPLM of causing chaos and has urged it to accept the results. Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, political secretary with the NCP, said south Kordufan election mess was caused by SPLM’s preemptive rumors saying its candidate won the elections after it learned that the candidate lost the seat. Ghandour said that they had substantial information that SPLM was planning for demonstrations on May 10.
He called on all to remain committed to results and peace. “They are able to deal with chaos and restore security. We pity the SPLM,” Ghandour said expressing his confidence in local authorities.
Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie, NCP deputy chairman, said his party would not allow SPLM to call for votes recount regarding the contest for the post of the governor of South Kordufan to create chaos and insecurity by announcing its rejection of the results. He warned of SPLM northern sector’s threats to destabilize the north if failed elections.
Attack and retreat
Following south Kordufan elections commission’s resort to NEC, a high delegation from Khartoum headed by the deputy chairman of NEC, Prof. Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah traveled to Kadogoli to contain the situation and to convince SPLM of proper procedures. It agreed with political parties to form three committees to gather and verify the results coming from polling centers to speed up the process to finalize the job within four or three days to submit final results to state’s high commission, which in its turn will report to NEC to announce the results at a date to be set later.
Actually, it was announced that the tension was contained, but after one day SPLM went back to square one by withdrawing from committees on monitoring vote count process on Tuesday afternoon, May 10, due to what it called changing (Tajira constituency), west Kordufan.
Sources in the state told Sudan Vision yesterday SPLM in its protest said it was not present when the change was made to add more centers for count, and doubted the credibility of the whole process, further saying it will not get back unless certain issue are handled.
The SPLM demanded that results of one of centers cancelled, but NEC said it is now within the jurisdictions of the SPLM, rather called on the movement to lodge a complaint to concerned authorities during period allocated for challenges.
The National Congress termed SPLM move as political procrastination, but some political forces warned of seriousness of the situation. Other 14 political parties condemned SPLM’s protest arguing that it was present when the decision was taken to add more centers. It left the meeting for a short break. They argued that it would be impossible for any form of rigging in the presence of SPLM agents and security personnel. The parties said SPLM should not be consulted on every matter, adding they would issue a statement to explain their position.
Osman Bushra, NCP agent for count committees, said SPLM it was clear that SPLM was procrastinating to enter into procedures and employing all means to obstruct the process entirely. He affirmed their commitment to democratic transformation and sustainable peace, adding “We believe that SPLM does not want stability or progress in the region.” He stated that all political parties – through developments – have become certain that the movement is attempting to drag all into other agenda. He added that SPLM move is aimed at political procrastination and there is no logic justification for its withdrawal.
While, al-Bashir Ahmed Shalai, agent for political forces and independent candidates, said no progress would be made under the difference the procedural process was going through. He said the Commission should take a decision that will ensure continuity of the process. he underlined the significance of avoiding creating of tensions and unrest, arguing that elections process is not free from losers and winners; therefore, all should accept the results whatever they are.
NCP backs involvement of SPLM in ruling the state
SPLM wishes to have full control over the state, therefore, it does not care about a proposal presented by the governor of the state, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun, stating his plan to engage SPLM in the executive authority for the state but was not availed the time to discuss the proposal backed by NCP deputy chairman Nafie Ali Nafie.
Speaking to reporters, Nafie said NCP was ready to share power at executive level with national political forces whenever there is a consensus and the matter assigned to acceptable persons irrespective of Sudanese people’s confidence in NCP in past general elections. He added NCP made the offer to achieved unity of internal front to face challenges and threats facing the nation.
Eventually, we are waiting to see which way the cat will jump. Will SPLM’s rejection drag the country into a new conflict or will it accept the results and heed to voices of the wise who are saying Sudan is above all?
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