photo by jon nicholson

news - Sudan's SPLM Threatens to Boycott Parliament

october 12th, 2009

"Sudan's junior partners in government threatened on Monday to boycott the last parliamentary session before an election unless President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's party implements a north-south peace deal.

Relations between the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) are tense, with accusations of delays from both sides in implementing the deal which enshrined democratic transformation and the first multi-party elections in 24 years, due in April.

Laws including reform of the powerful intelligence forces, the trade unions and a bill governing a southern referendum on secession in 2011 must be passed by parliament.

But the SPLM and NCP, who formed a coalition government after the 2005 deal, have not agreed on their content.

'We are going to boycott the whole parliamentary session if they do not respond positively,' said Yasir Arman, head of the SPLM's northern sector. 'There is an absence of political will from the National Congress.'

He said the NCP refused to accept changes to the SPLM's members in parliament and had not included key laws, such as the referendum bill, on the parliamentary agenda.

More than 20 political parties have said they would boycott the election if fair laws are not passed this session.

'If we do not put pressure on the National Congress then (they) are taking us to war and we don't want that,' Arman said, adding their former northern foes had one week to take action."

MORE: "Sudan's SPLM threatens to boycott parliament" (Reuters)

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