Sudan Referendum Celebration Reaffirmed

Khartoum, Dec 7. -The commission responsible for organizing the referendum of self determination for southern Sudan, scheduled for January 9, said it will continue its plans to celebrate the vote on time despite the problems identified.

The spokeswoman for the commission, Soad Ibrahimb Issa, admitted in statements to Radio Miraya, that the head of the agency, Mohamed Ibrahim Jalil, explained to Khartoum the possibility of postponing the vote.

This request is consistent with an official request of the commission to reopen the contest for the ballots to be used, with the purpose of Sudanese firms to compete.

"That would delay the preparations, taking into account the time needed to print and distribute the ballots to the polls," stressed media.

Radio Miraya, operated by the United Nations, also lamented that the request made by the head of the commission had transcended to the press.

Other media highlighted that although officials close to President Omar Hassan al Bashir called for a postponement of the referendum, it was rejected by the autonomous government of southern Sudan, controlled by the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The SPLM fought for 20 years against Khartoum in a war that caused two million deaths and officially ended on January 9, 2005 with a peace agreement that adopted the celebration of the referendum for self-determination scheduled for next month. (Prensa Latina)