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Cablegate: Splm and Ncp Stuck On Draft Electoral Bill

VZCZCXRO7761
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0226/01 0450700
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140700Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9963
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000226

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE WILLIAMSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO KDEM SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: SPLM AND NCP STUCK ON DRAFT ELECTORAL BILL

REF: (A) KHARTOUM 180
(B) KHARTOUM 154
(C)KHARTOUM 025

1. (U) SUMMARY: The NCP continues to suggest that the SPLM is not
keen on holding national elections due to the SPLM's potential loss
of power in the GoSS. The SPLM says it supports a 50 (direct)/50
(proportional) electoral system in order to allow leaders from
smaller communities a chance to govern. The NCP gives little hope
that a compromise will be reached on the draft electoral bill, while
the SPLM says a compromise is possible. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Poloff met with President of the Sudan Worker's Trade Union
Federation (SWTUF) and prominent NCP member Ibrahim Ghandour on 6
February. Ghandour, who is the chief negotiator for the NCP in its
meetings with the SPLM on the electoral law, said that the NCP will
not support any compromise on the proposed percentages of the mixed
electoral system. Either the draft law will go forward with the
60(direct)/40(proportional) make-up that the NCP supports or it will
go forward with the 50(direct)/50(proportional) split that the SPLM
and other opposition parties support. "There will be no meeting in
between or further revising of figures," said Ghandour. On 11
February, poloff met with Atim Garang, Deputy Speaker of the GNU
National Assembly and an SPLM founder. Garang believes that a
compromise on the electoral law can be reached between the peace
partners before the bill is sent to the National Assembly for
ratification.

3. (U) Ghandour reflected back to February 2007, when the National
Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) called for all parties to
submit input on a draft electoral bill. He said that, at the time,
the NCP supported 60(direct)/40(proportional) system, the Communist
Party supported a 50(direct)/50(proportional) system, the Umma Party
supported a 70 (direct)/30(proportional) system, the Democratic
Unionist Party (DUP) and the National Democratic Alliance Party
(NDA) called for a 100 percent proportional voting system, and the
SPLM supported a 100 percent direct voting system. According to
Ghandour, all parties agreed that at least 25 percent of the
national, GoSS, and state legislatures should be women.

4. (U) In May of 2007, Ghandour said that all parties agreed to a
60(direct)/40(proportional) system. All opposition parties, except
for the SPLM, unified and came up with a new proposal for a 50/50
system in September 2007. In October, when the SPLM pulled out of
the GNU, they joined with the opposition parties in supporting a
50/50 system. Since reaching a deadlock, Ghandour said that the NCP
and the SPLM have had four meetings to work out percentage
distributions for the mixed system. He claimed that the NCP did not
want "new figures" (i.e. - the SPLM at one point offered to support
a 55/45 compromise, but the NCP did not agree to this). Ghandour
claimed that the NCP is "keen to go to elections" but that "the
opposition is not prepared and does not want elections.mQJ

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