London, Asharq Al-Awsat- James Wani Igga, speaker of the south Sudan Legislative Council, deputy leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM], and president of its higher electoral committee, called on the Sudanese people to vote for the SPLM’s Presidential Candidate Yasser Arman and for President of the Southern Sudan Government Salva Kiir. He denied that his party intends to establish an alliance with the National Congress [Party], led by President Omar al-Bashir.
Igga told Asharq Al-Awsat that if the south decides to separate, it can become a state of law and citizenship. He said the state of Eritrea that neighbors Sudan has less resources and population than the south and managed to become a state on the world’s political map after it broke away from Ethiopia. He added: “The south is qualified, but some parties intentionally give an impression that the south is weak to cause psychological apprehension”
Igga said that Yasser Arman, the SPLM candidate for the presidential elections, stands a better chance of winning than any other candidate.
He added: “Ninety percent of the southerners will vote for Arman. We have a large number of supporters in the north. We will focus on the north because [voting in] the south is guaranteed. Arman did not begin from scratch, as others did.”
He said the [ruling] National Congress Party is unhappy with the nomination of Arman to compete with Al-Bashir in the presidential elections. He remarked: “If I were in the National Congress Party’s place, I would feel the same thing because Yasser Arman is dangerous and the SPLM has supporters everywhere in Sudan.”
Igga said: “The National Congress Party agreed with us to increase to 60 the number of seats that are allocated to the south in the parliament. But the party backed down after the SPLM nominated Yasser Arman for the presidential elections.”
He called on the Sudanese people to vote for Arman and for the SPLM candidate in the south Salva Kiir.
He said if Arman wins in the elections, the next government will be composed of parties that believe in the peace accord and democratic transition in a broad coalition, including the National Congress Party.
Igga denied that his movement intends to set up an alliance with its partner in government, the National Congress Party, in light of what he described as outstanding issues relating to the implementation of the peace accord.
He said that the National Congress Party lacks the political will to continue to implement the requirements of the peace accord.
He added: “Experience showed that pressure works with the National Congress Party. The endorsement of a law on referendum in south Sudan made the parliament vote on the law again three days afterward after the MPs of the SPLM and other southern parties took a powerful stand.”
At the same time, however, he denied that the parliament of the south, of which he is the speaker, thought of declaring independence after disagreements increased between the SPLM and its partner, the National Congress Party.
He described the national security law that has been endorsed as unconstitutional. He said this law contravenes the rights document that has been included in the constitution and the spirit of the peace accord.
He said: “We call on President Al-Bashir to amend the law and issue a temporary order in this regard because enforcement of the law in its current form will diminish the prospects of holding free elections. The reason is that this law undermines the political parties’ activities because of arbitrary security measures.”
He added that the government of the south emphasizes the need for a free practice of political activities in the south, with the exception of individual cases that happen here or there.
The south parliament speaker said that the Arab states promised to fund development projects in the south in order to make unity attractive, but nothing has been received to date and these states did not fulfill their promises.
He added: “We are awaiting the Arabs, and time is passing. However, Egypt is the only state that continues to contribute to the construction of a university in the Lakes Region, in addition to its construction of electricity generators in the City of Wau.”
Igga said the government and parliament of the south conducted an investigation into all aspects of corruption, arrested the comptroller general, and investigated four ministers from within the parliament.
He added that the reserve funds are disbursed through the parliament, and that the government is not the only party that has the right to so.
Igga said: The south was unable to use the 50 percent share of the oil revenues, which is stipulated in an agreement on sharing the wealth. The south receives only 24 percent. The government of the south receives fluctuating funds ranging from $44 million to 60 million. Some times, it receives $100 million. Thus, $200 million is lost.
He added: Oil revenues from the Abyei Region that amount to 42 percent were misused. The oil revenues from that region amount to approximately $700 million, and the south’s share of these revenues is $300 million.
He continued: “Thus, we lose $500 million, and this situation hampered services and development. It is a deliberate practice.”