President Omar al-Bashir's party is ready to accept the result of southern Sudan's referendum on independence, a senior party official said on Saturday.
"It is very clear that the party will accept the result whether it be for unity or secession," Rabie Abdul Ati of the National Congress Party told AFP.
"The referendum took place in an atmosphere of calm ... with a great degree of freedom and fairness," Ati said as the week-long vote came to an end, adding that he expected the same after the results are announced.
Bashir, during a visit to the southern capital of Juba ahead of the referendum, said he would accept the result.
"I personally will be sad if Sudan splits. But at the same time I will be happy if we have peace in Sudan between the two sides," Bashir said in a speech to senior southern officials.