National Congress Party has been reiterating commitment to convocation of the Referendum for south Sudan as planned. The last confirmation of this stance was said by the Assistant to the Sudanese President Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie during a press conference last week.

This commitment was agreed upon in the Peace Agreement and the 2005 transitional constitution. In this regard, it is very important to refer to the fact that the Referendum Commission is the sole body that is authorized to demand postponement of the referendum.

The suggestion of the Referendum Commission on the postponement of the referendum was based on the referendum law for the year 2009 that stipulates taking of some measures before holding the referendum.

As it was affirmed by the Sudanese government, convocation of the referendum requires conducting essential amendment in the referendum law without which it will not be possible to hold the referendum as scheduled.

According to the well known legal expert Mohamed Al-Hassan Al-Amin, the problem lies in the finding the mechanism to amend the law during the current parliament recess that will continue until October.

With regard to the suggestion that President Al-Bashir shall issue a republican decree to amend the law, the constitution does not allow amendment of any law pertinent to the peace agreement by any political institution other than the parliament.

Thus, the Referendum Commission suggestion on postponement of referendum was not a political move. The SPLM, which has many legal experts, had to read the suggestion of the Referendum Commission deeply and without any sensitivities.

Of course, the legality of the suggestion of the Referendum Commission justifies the silence of the SPLM legal experts such as Dr. Mansour Khalid, Ghazi Suleiman toward this crisis.

The attempts of holding the referendum as planned in January 2011 will face the said legal challenge a matter which will not make the referendum measures look sound and democratic.