Overcoming obstacles facing the referendum commission, that was the main objective of the Presidency as it concluded its meeting, Sunday, in Khartoum. The Presidency which is made up of the President of the Republic, the First Vice President and the Vice President, issued a number of resolutions and measures including asking for efforts to be stepped up to complete the demarcation of the North-South borders. The meeting also
yielded the formation of a Joint Political Committee tasked to provide technical and political support for the Border Demarcation Committee to perform its duties in time. The Presidency called on the international community to fulfill its pledges and commitments in support of the Southern Sudan referendum process. The Presidency also asked international members to participate in the monitoring of the process to create an atmosphere that allows for a free and fair referendum to all the citizen of Southern Sudan.
Earlier, the National Congress Party had said that the SPLM is dominating the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau with 90% membership. An Information Official in the party, Fateh Shella, said the number of SPLM members in the bureau is 46 from the actual 51. He said that this is an indication of early rigging of the referendum process. Shella further said that the conditions set for Referendum Commission membership is that there should be impartiality and should not be affiliated to any party, adding that the National Congress Party is calling for international observers to step in. Meanwhile, the deputy Chairman of the Referendum Commission, Chan Reech Madut, denied these accusations, adding that they lack credibility.
Al Ayaam Newspaper quoted a statement by Madut saying "speaking of early rigging of referendum is merely a political consumption". On the other hand the SPLM accused its governing party, the NCP of retreating from its commitment towards the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei border demarcation and using the Messeriya tribes to undermine it.
Speaking to Radio Miraya, a leading SPLM member, Edward Leno, called for the immediate formation of Abyei Referendum Commission. Leno underlined the importance of implementing all CPA articles without delay. Meanwhile, the opposition parties held a meeting, Monday, to discuss the referendum.
This came following a failure to hold a meeting which was to bring together the Juba Coalition Parties and the National Congress Party to reach common grounds concerning both unity and separation. Speaking to Radio Miraya, the Popular Congress Party's Political Secretary, Kamal Omer Abdulsalaam, said that the National Congress Party had said it would participate in the meeting only if the opposition parties agreed to join the president in his campaign for unity.