Both sides are digging in, with some outside observations from the UNMIS head of elections observation. Actually, quite unhelpful comments from the UNMIS rep. Check out the article here.
For what it is worth, and in case this is the first election observation/participation for some, the parties will always haggle over the process. It is, in my opinion, a critical process in the essence of elections and plebiscites. It engenders a sense of transparency, legitimacy and fosters broad participation.
If there are outside “official” groups who have a thought to share on their opinion of the election, the parties’ political and process needs, then it might be best to hold their fire or share their thoughts more discreetly. Public comments. like those of the UNMIS representative only throw weight (unfairly, many would argue) toward one argument.
Meanwhile, the USG is a bit more forward leaning on the process, according to this article. Gration is appears to be getting on side with the Don’t-Drop-Sanctions-On-Khartoum-stance, and the SPLM seems to be qualifying their recent comments on unilateral declaration of independence. Story here.
And finally, Gration is claiming victory (progress?) on a non-agreement on the outstanding CPA issues. Except it does not cover the census, the referendum or other critical points that are currently under hot debate. BBC is reporting the story here. One more inane pointer: When it comes to mediating between the parties, “process” (like this) is no replacement for substance. Signing agreements that don’t mean anything only give the obstinate a victory when they should be getting further pressure.