The EU's decision not to observe and validate the elections if the JMP did not participate also gave the latter a bit more leverage. There had been rumors that a number of Islah candidates were planning to run as independents if there was an official boycott - this would have spelled bad news for Muhammad al-Yadumi, who took over control of the party after Shaykh 'Abdullah's death back in December 2007. And like 'Abdullah's sons, al-Yadumi has struggled to gain control over the different patronage and political networks that the old man had mastered.
I have been hearing rumors about the two year time period for a while, so we'll see if we can get this confirmed by some official sources in the next day or so.
The AP is reporting on a cell, supposedly linked to al0-Qaeda, that was convicted of plotting attacks and sentenced up to seven years.