Home | News    Monday 12 April 2010

Unity state’s gubernatorial candidate reports widespread irregularities

April 11, 2010 (JUBA) – An independent candidate running for gubernatorial position in the oil-rich Unity state has reported wide spread irregularities on the first day of polling in the sate.

Angelina Teny

Angelina Teny who runs for governorship against the incumbent caretaker governor, Taban Deng Gai, on Sunday, April 11, said her agents had been blocked by security forces from participating in monitoring the polling stations.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune from the state’s capital, Bentiu, Teny accused the SPLA Maj. General Dor Monyjur in particular for blocking her agents from inspecting the ballot boxes in order to make sure that they were empty.

“Maj. Gen. Dor Monyjur is deployed with SPLA soldiers to intimidate my agents at polling stations,” Angelina said, an action she attributed to favoring the incumbent governor Taban Deng.

She added that in some areas soldiers have dressed in police uniform in concealment to guide the stations and intimidate her agents and that such interference by security forces is widespread across most of the state counties.

Angelina further explained that thousands of names are already missing or misplaced in different unknown stations far from where the voters were originally registered during the registration process about six months ago.

She said a lot of names may not be found by voters because some are taken to stations far away from the stations they were previously registered, making it even difficult to know where one’s name is transferred to.

She further explained that a complete list from one station in a given Payam may instead appear in a station in a different Payam. “These have brought a lot of confusions among the voters,” she lamented.

The irregularities have also affected some senior government officials, an example of which is the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who had to look for his name for more than three hours in Bentiu town. Machar previously registered his name in Bentiu 1 Station during the registration process but could not find his name on polling day because it was transferred to a different station. He had to search through many other stations to finally find that his name was instead posted to station number 5 in another corner of the town far from Bentiu 1 Station.

“If it could take the Vice President of the land three hours to find his misplaced name, then how difficult would it be for the ordinary citizens to find their misplaced names from unknown stations,” asked a voter who could not also find his name from the same station he registered from.

“I may not find my name for the rest of the three-day voting period because it might have been taken outside of Bentiu town if not deleted,” he added.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) had earlier made potential voters to believe that during polling day each registered voter would find his or her name in the same station he or she was registered from.

Angelina also accused the electoral body in the state of allowing boys and girls as young as ten years old to vote, adding that personal ID cards in many instances were not asked from voters.

Attempts to contact the state elections committee and army command for comments have failed.

More than 16 million voters in Sudan are expected to go for the polling beginning on Sunday and ending on Tuesday in the first democratic elections in 24 years. The electoral process is however feared to have involved massive fraud, prompting some of heavyweight opposition parties to boycott the polls.