Home | News    Thursday 26 August 2010

“Don’t register if you cannot vote,” Sudan’s Machar cautions

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August 25, 2010 (JUBA) — The Vice President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Riek Machar has cautioned potential voters not to only register, but also vote during the referendum’s seven-day voting exercise scheduled to starting on January 9, 2011.

Southern Sudanese regional vice president Riek Machar

Machar made the remarks while officiating the opening of a one-day workshop organized by a civil society organization, the Southern Sudan Civic Education Organization, to which he was invited as the chief Guest.

In his generalized statement to all civil society organizations that will take part in the mobilization for registration and civic education, the Vice President told them to equally mobilize for registration as well as for voting in order to meet the 60% threshold of registered voters as required by the referendum law.

He said those that feel they may not vote during the referendum should not register in the first place because that would harm the needed turnout.

“Don’t register if you cannot vote,” he said in his remarks targeting potential voters.

According to the law, at least 60% of all the registered voters must vote in the referendum in order to recognize the outcome of the exercise. Also, 50%+1 of the voted – minus spoiled votes - shall be required in favour of either unity or secession option in order to declare it the winning choice of the people.

Machar also stressed the importance of conducting civic education to the people on how to vote throughout the region.

"This is to avoid the issue of spoiled votes which ballot papers may not be properly marked and would affect the 60% threshold," he said.

He revealed that during the voting there will not be two boxes but only one box and one ballot paper with two different symbols; one for unity and another for secession. The selection of symbols will be done by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, he said, adding that it is important for the population to be educated about the type of symbol representing each option.

The referendum law has provided for a re-run of referendum voting after 60 days of the original vote date if the 60% turnout was not be achieved in the first round. Machar however said it would be best that the required turnout would materialize in the first round, warning that if it failed, going for the second round would be difficult because it could generate a debate on the justification.

Machar also stressed the need for making the vote transparent, free and fair, explaining that despite the fact that it will be the people of Southern Sudan voting, the referendum is not only about Southern Sudan, but a national act since it will determine the fate of the whole country.

“Somebody in Halfa – a northerner - would want to assure himself or herself that the outcome of the referendum is the free will of the people of Southern Sudan and not manipulated by anybody,” he said.

South Sudan’s VP also cautioned that challenges faced during the April elections should not be repeated, adding that there should be a better way of finding polling stations and writing names correctly.

The Chief Internal Coordinator and co-organizer of the workshop, Lokulenge Lole, told participants that the issue of referendum "is a matter of life and death" and should be taken seriously by all to bring the freedom of the people of Southern Sudan.

Meanwhile the Chairperson of the SPLM parliamentary Caucus and Chief Whip in the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, Peter Bashir Gbandi, said the current elected parliament is a “referendum parliament,” and warned that any attempt to obstruct the conduct of the referendum by any party can lead to the Southern Sudan parliament taking over the process on behalf of the people of Southern Sudan.

Gbandi said lawmakers would pass the referendum Taskforce’s budget this week, urging that the amount should not be limited to only 150 million Sudanese pounds but should instead be left open without a ceiling.

Machar on the other hand also briefed the workshop on the ongoing activities of the referendum Taskforce, which he chairs, explaining that the Taskforce will work in cooperation or in coordination with the civil society organizations and support them in playing the role of civic education and mobilization for registration and voting. The budget for the work of the Taskforce is expected to be passed by the parliament this week, he said.

The Vice President told the civil society organizations to freely debate on the two options of unity and secession, adding that while the option for secession is “clear”, there should be issues tackled on the option of unity.

Machar, who seemed to challenge voices from the North that only interpret or focus on the phrase “making unity attractive” in terms of only developing physical infrastructure in the country, said even if the regional capital, Juba, were to be miraculously made to look like Dubai in the next five months to referendum, it would not be enough to attract unity because other issues of justice, governance, accountability and mutual respect, among others, would also have to be tackled first in order to make it an attractive option.

Doubts have been raised on whether the newly formed referendum commission would be able to fulfil its mandate by January given the delay in getting it up and running as well as dispute over appointing a secretary general.

(ST)

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  • 26 August 2010 05:23, by Mzalendo Mwema

    Dear VP Dr Riek Machar,

    That is very true and we appreciate your excogitation.No!! No
    !! NO !! unity with all you have mentioned.They must resolve Darfuris’ problems before extending their Big mouths to South Sudan.Otherwise they will use us again to kill Darfuris as they did during the South-North conflicts.

    Independent SOUTHERN SUDAN is what all Southerners are after.
    Time for Sharia Law is expired and no need for obsolescent LAW.

    SOUTH SUDAN will be a caring NATION where all rights will be respected.

    • 26 August 2010 05:28, by Gatwech

      Bravo Dr. Machar,

      I like your strategic brain.

      Unity should not be only made attractive in terms of building one borehold there and another tukul there connected with a rough road.

      And even if they turn tukuls into tall buildings and boreholds into modern taps with running clean water 24 hours, that is still not all.

      Yes, issues of justice, governance, accountability and mutual respect as you said are and were the main causes for war since 1955.

      Option for secession is clear!

      Thumbs up VP!!!

      • 26 August 2010 07:23, by Sombiri

        I agree with your analysis, we need to add more to make UNITY attractive. We need the Arab North to compensate South Sudan from 1899 to 2004, the list is too long....

    • 26 August 2010 08:44, by Jamus

      Yeah!! VP

      Arabs don’t think that a Junubi is any one.Experience is the best teacher any way.We now know precisely what we want and where we want it, not like before.We are asking self-determination from Juba, not necessarily from Khartoum.We are prepared for any eventuality if they try very hard to deny us this plebiscite.Juba will be at rear this time, not at front.

      Jamus

    • 26 August 2010 09:21, by thieleling

      Thanks Gat-Nyagoonyang!! Dr. Machar, you are truly a brilliant thinker and a great strategic planner across the board. You get a superb strategic brain and real understanding of the complicated voting issue for the Referendum. This is really about ideas and holistic thinking.

      Focus your people on how important it is to not give up on their dreams and to maintain that level of focus and strength of conviction and never give up on the dreams in spite of what had been going through these past 5 years and knowing what lay ahead.

      Again, thank you!!

  • 26 August 2010 05:23, by Jerie

    I’m more worried about the intentional spoiling of votes by the North to depict failure in reaching the 60% threshold of the registered voters

    • 26 August 2010 05:26, by MJriaksdca

      Jerie

      according to Dr. Riek, we will defeat northern tricks by truly registering and casting your vote. When all of us do that, we will win and be freed.

      • 26 August 2010 05:51, by Jerie

        You are right. But because the referendum commission is headed by the Northerners, and even if we all register and vote, they can spoil some of the votes

  • 26 August 2010 05:23, by MJriaksdca

    This is a very informative news article. All civil organizations at home and diaspora should print it out and use it to enlighten the people about the conduct of referendum. Thank you Dr. Riek and president Salva Kiir for your supreme concern about the aspirations of Southerners for long lasting freedom from the north.

  • 26 August 2010 05:24, by Mzalendo Mwema

    Dear VP Dr Riek Machar,

    That is very true and we appreciate your excogitation.No!! No
    !! NO !! unity without all you have mentioned.They must resolve Darfuris’ problems before extending their Big mouths to South Sudan.Otherwise they will use us again to kill Darfuris as they did during the South-North conflicts.

    Independent SOUTHERN SUDAN is what all Southerners are after.
    Time for Sharia Law is expired and no need for obsolescent LAW.

    SOUTH SUDAN will be a caring NATION where all rights will be respected.

  • 26 August 2010 05:25, by Gatwech

    Bravo Dr. Machar,

    I like your strategic brain.

    Unity should not be only made attractive in terms of building one borehold there and another tukul there connected with a rough road.

    And even if they turn tukuls into tall buildings and boreholds into modern taps with running clean water 24 hours, that is still not all.

    Yes, issues of justice, governance, accountability and mutual respect as you said are and were the main causes for war since 1955.

    Thumbs up!!!

    • 26 August 2010 05:31, by MJriaksdca

      Gatwich

      you are funny. You made me laugh by saying even if unity is made attractive by building one tukul here and one borehole there still that will not be enough. And that is true. The northerners needed to think about what they can do for us now, but what they should have done for us many years of poverty ago. We count against them history not story.

      • 26 August 2010 06:09, by Mzalendo Mwema

        Dear VP Dr Riek Machar,

        That is very true and we appreciate your excogitation.No!! No
        !! NO !! unity without all you have mentioned.They must resolve Darfuris’ problems before extending their Big mouths to South Sudan.Otherwise they will use us again to kill Darfuris as they did during the South-North conflicts.

        Independent SOUTHERN SUDAN is what all Southerners are after.
        Time for Sharia Law is expired and no need for obsolescent LAW.

        SOUTH SUDAN will be a caring NATION where all rights will be respected

        Gatwech think of what we can do after plebiscite and what we have been longing for is achieved(INDEPENDENT).All our leaders are losing weights now because of our future.

        Thanks to them

        Those who comment on tribal bases are non Southern Sudanese and their aim is to cause division among us but ENOUGH is Enough.NO more division any more.Its time is gone and what we got from it was loss,no gain.

      • 26 August 2010 06:18, by DOOR

        I wish i could put Dr Machar on my molar teeth and chew him in delightfulness.
        The academic giant is doing all he could to ensure southerners are free and happy.
        Yes registration of anyone who may not vote could jeopardize the results of election.
        They must be warn to stay away or vote to let southerners achieve independent.

        Dr Machar oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! independent oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • 26 August 2010 06:31, by DASODIKO

    Mr. VP you are absoultely right! Either register to vote or don’t register at all. Ask people how to vote, its your fundamental rights to vote either yes or know. But Know that NO will keep you slave as well as second class citizen.

    • 26 August 2010 08:29, by Atungdiak

      Mr. DOOR,
      You amuse me. I have just read one comment from you somewhere on the same web, telling Southerners that they could not rule themselves and therefore should vote for Unity. Now here, you are saying independence oyee.....

      Bro, try to maintain some consistency. Northerners still believe there are Southerners whose unity voices are being supressed my makjority of Junubiin who want separation. When they read your comments; they would think you are one of those.

      Anyway; wellcome aboard of Independence Quest. Freedom is certain

      • 26 August 2010 09:21, by thieleling

        Thanks Gat-Nyagoonyang!! Dr. Machar, you are truly a brilliant thinker and a great strategic planner across the board. You get a superb strategic brain and real understanding of the complicated voting issue for the Referendum. This is really about ideas and holistic thinking.

        Focus your people on how important it is to not give up on their dreams and to maintain that level of focus and strength of conviction and never give up on the dreams in spite of what had been going through these past 5 years and knowing what lay ahead.

        Again, thank you!!

        • 26 August 2010 11:00, by Wudutman

          Dear Riak,
          During the war we have only one enemy called Jalaba which is always threatening all of us but now a days, We have so many enemy that threatening our life, We got confuse when you register as A South Sudanese and want to vote also you will be threaten, when you stay at your house you will be threaten, Many people especially those who are untrained get themselves in security and beg money through others name, In this referendum we don’t support such situation, We will stay not to vote and wait for our one enemy either to fight or do with them peacefull.Those who want to get rich on others name please stop that spiritual, if you know your self that you are cattle protector employed in Government authority please go back to prepare your cow duck for breaching your teeth and make your hunt red as galwany, don’t a summed your self to eat money on others name please stop that cattle minded .
          Understand is so good,
          By Wudutman

          • 26 August 2010 18:19, by crackwood

            People of New Sudan Oyeee…
            Let north drags his legs
            We will be there at promise land
            We almost there near the Jordan River
            We will hold our leaders their hands
            To let us a cross that river no matter what
            Let all sisters and brothers stand to gather
            To promise land
            Land of milk and honey
            Let north drags their legs
            People of New Sudan will on promise soon!!!
            Long live SPLM/A!!!!
            Long live people of New Sudan!!!
            New Sudan Oyeee!!!
            Mayardit Oyeee!!!!
            Machar Oyeee!!!!
            Lead our people to promise land.

          • 26 August 2010 18:22, by crackwood

            People of New Sudan Oyeee…
            Let north drags his legs
            We will be there at promise land
            We almost there near the Jordan River
            We will hold our leaders their hands
            To let us a cross that river no matter what
            Let all sisters and brothers stand to gather
            To promise land
            Land of milk and honey
            Let north drags their legs
            People of New Sudan will on promise soon!!!
            Long live SPLM/A!!!!
            Long live people of New Sudan!!!
            New Sudan Oyeee!!!
            Mayardit Oyeee!!!!
            Machar Oyeee!!!!
            Lead our people to promise land.

          • 26 August 2010 18:24, by crackwood

            People of New Sudan Oyeee…
            Let north drags his legs
            We will be there at promise land
            We almost there near the Jordan River
            We will hold our leaders their hands
            To let us a cross that river no matter what
            Let all sisters and brothers stand to gather
            To promise land
            Land of milk and honey
            Let north drags their legs
            People of New Sudan will on promise soon!!!
            Long live SPLM/A!!!!
            Long live people of New Sudan!!!
            New Sudan Oyeee!!!
            Mayardit Oyeee!!!!
            Machar Oyeee!!!!
            Lead our people to promise land.

  • 26 August 2010 11:25, by Abraham Majur Lam

    I quite agree with VP Mr Machar whatsoever may emerge in 120days will not make unity of Sudan attractive. The unity between South Sudan and North Sudan is dead and we waiting to bury it on 9th January 2011 and we prove to Arabs that we are capable of governing ourseves without them.
    South Sudan oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    New Sudan oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    SPLM oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • 26 August 2010 13:36, by Lokorai

      Yeah, when this man opens his mouth, something special assures people of the future and this’s why people yearn for this man to take over from ruineous leadershipo that sees nothing, doing nothing leadership under Gaib Al Awel.

      This is a man Dinka wants to stop from becoming president even at his prime time, what a pitty to this nation!

      Dr. Machar, people will not forget your humility and sacrifices you have made to ensure the people of South Sudan get their freedom with dignity first and others later.

      Time will come when people of Southern Sudan shall rise up and say no to mediocricy; building a nations requires tough minds, a character that thinks big, plans big and acts wide on what is good for the people.

      We still have to go for this struggle afterwards, as another matter of ’life and death’

      Lokorai

  • 26 August 2010 14:27, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    Separation is the only option left for the people of South Sudan
    thank you very much Dr Machar.
    Making unity attractive in two months time can not help,VP Taha should notices this.

    OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

  • 26 August 2010 18:45, by Kur

    Yes, those thugs who cry for unity do not even know what it means.

    Kur



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