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