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International observers endorse outcome of South Kordofan polls

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May 20, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The US-based Carter Center has given a seal of credibility to the outcome of contentious elections in North Sudan’s state of South Kordofan, dousing claims by the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that the vote was rigged in favour of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

An international election observer from the Carter Center stands outside a polling centre during the second voting day in Kadugli, in Southern Kordofan May 3, 2011 (REUTERS PICTURES)

According to the Carter Center, which has the largest international observation mission on the ground, the elections in South Kordofan were “generally peaceful and credible” despite “a climate of heightened insecurity and instances of procedural irregularities.”

In a statement released on Thursday, the Carter Center said it “did not observe systemic irregularities that would invalidate the results," which declared that the NCP’s candidate Ahmad Harun – a man wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur - won the state governor elections by 6,500 votes over his closest challenger, the SPLM’s candidate, Abdul Aziz al-Hilu.

The SPLM, which controls the soon-to-be independent region of South Sudan, withdrew from the vote at the stage of result aggregation, citing claims of spotting a “bogus” polling site and accusing the National Elections Commission, which organised the exercise, of complicity with the NCP in rigging the vote.

But the Carter Center said that voting and counting had been conducted in a transparent way and under scrutiny of the main parties.

South Kordofan elections were postponed from April 2010 as Sudan held nationwide elections due to disagreements over the 2008 census and delimitation of geographic constituency. The long-delayed legislative and gubernatorial elections were largely peaceful despite instances of violence in the run-up to the vote.

The flashpoint state is important to Khartoum because it contains oilfields and neighbours the hotly-contested region of Abyei as well as the war-battered western region of Darfur.

Sudan’s general elections in April 2010, which were marred by mass fraud and opposition boycotts, saw president Al-Bashir and his ruling NCP reelected in north Sudan while the SPLM consolidated its domination over the south.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 21 May 2011 15:36, by Adam

    Let the Jalaba and Nuba SPLM leaders in the North shut up and not create troubles in the name of our great South. Let Al-Hilu and Arman stop lying and crying like women.

    Another advice to the Northerner Mr. Agar, please keep away from the South. Full Stop.

    Adam Milawaki,
    Juba, South Sudan



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