Home | News    Monday 25 October 2010

South Sudan referendum commission receives most of the voting material

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October 24, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The South Sudan referendum commission (SSRC) announced today that it has received 90% of the voting material required to conduct the self-determination vote early next year.

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Customer officers and officials from the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission check voter registration books for southern voters living in Sudan’s northern states, at the airport in Khartoum, October 24, 2010 (Reuters)

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) quoted SSRC spokesperson Jamal Ibrahim as saying that the customs authorities in Khartoum airport released six packages containing registration books to the commission.

Ibrahim speaking to SUNA said that the quantity they have in their possession now should be enough to cover southern voters living in Sudan’s 15 northern states. Millions more will soon arrive in the southern capital Juba, he added.

The SSRC official suggested that more may be needed during the late stages of the referendum process which is slated to start on January 9.

"This is a giant step forward ... When the materials are around everyone feels confident that these things are going ahead," commission deputy chairman Chan Reek Madut told Reuters from Juba.

The commission has already started training referendum registration staff, and organizers still hope to start voting on Jan. 9, he added. "That is our hope and it is our aim," he said.

Under an earlier timetable set out in legislation governing the plebiscite, the whole registration exercise should have been completed three months before the vote.

The change would require a legislative change to become legal, experts say.

Sudanese officials suggested in recent weeks that a postponement of the referendum may be necessary pending resolution of outstanding issues such as border demarcation, citizenship, national debt, wealth sharing and water agreements.

The Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) in control of the South has rejected any idea of a delay.

The National Congress Party (NCP) has already announced publicly that a simultaneous referendum in the oil-rich region of Abyei cannot be held as scheduled because of disagreements over who can vote. U.S. brokered talks in Ethiopia on the issue have failed to break the deadlock.

Both sides are scheduled to meet again in Addis Ababa on Abyei next Wednesday under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African Thabo Mbeki.

Sudan government ’committed to January referendum’

Meanwhile the U.S. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, disclosed today that he has received a written confirmation from Sudanese officials that they are committed to hold the referendum on time.

"Just today, the government of Sudan handed me a resolution vowing in concrete language to abide by the outcome of the referendum, whatever it is, and pledging its cooperation with its neighbors to the south on a wide range of economic, political and security issues," Kerry told reporters as he left the country.

If the government kept its word, the US would be able to forge a "new relationship" with Sudan, Kerry added.

"That will have a profound effect on the ways in which the Obama administration and the Congress of the United States can then respond, in terms of our economic relationship and other relationships," he told reporters.

"Our goal is to see a peaceful Sudan, one with which we can have a normal relationship and, indeed, a long-term, growing relationship."

The Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ali Karti during his meeting with Kerry on Sunday expressed his hope that the visiting lawmaker will be aware about the reality of the situation in Sudan, especially with regard to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the developments in Darfur.

Kerry said that he held successful and constructive talks with the Sudanese officials on the CPA implementation namely the referendum in South Sudan and Abyei. He stressed that the whole world is observing the developments in Sudan and is looking forward to help it solve its issues.

(ST)

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  • 25 October 2010 06:26, by Gatwech

    Good that the South Sudan Referendum Commission has received 90% of the voting materials. Let them make sure that they are delivered to the centers on time. Also the registration materials should have all been delivered to the centers as the registration will soon begin next week.

    Khartoum must allow for timely, free, fair and transparent conduct of the referenda in South Sudan and Abyei.

    Don’t cause a political crisis please which may result to military crisis before referendum. All parties should stick to peaceful full implementation of the referendum process.

    repondre message

    • 25 October 2010 07:04, by Anyang

      Oh!no, Gatwech,it’s premature for you to believed them right now. I urge you, just to take wait & see approach and than you will be free to give your verdict.

      repondre message

    • 25 October 2010 07:06, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      It is good that they have acknowledged the receipt of the voting materials for the exercise of South Sudan referendum. But the question that remains is who are those Southern Sudanese in the north that will vote in this game. No room should be spare for rigging the referendum.

      repondre message

    • 25 October 2010 09:06, by Freedom Fighter

      The spokeman for SSRC , chairman, and the secretary are all NCPs, and so, any statement from them should be received with extra cuation. Their announcement of receiption of materials doesn’t means that they’re committed to the conduct of free and fair referendum on Jan. 9th, 2011.

      Don’t you see the contradiction in the referendum’s timetable which they announced in Khartoum with the one that was announced in Juba by judge, Chan Reech Madut. According to Chan Reech, Southerners were going to cast their votes on Jan. 8th, 2011, But Jallabas in Khartoum said it’s Jan. 9th. They were only forced to contradict judge, Chan Reech after they had seen that Southerners are determined to the conduct of referendum with or without them.

      Jallabas are unhappy with this referendum because it was imposed on them by Dr. John Garang who was about to squeeze them up in the neck in Khartoum. I believe that they’re going to do whatever they can to make the independent of the South unsuccessful.

      So, I want to call upon all freedom fighters in Khartoum and in the Northern Sudan in general not to register because the voting in Khartoum will not be free, fair, and transparent.

      Freedom fighter

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    • 25 October 2010 21:29, by John M. Atem

      This is truly a praiseworthy political development. We want the South Sudan’s Referendum to be conducted on time. We donot want any more delayments of this Upcoming Self-determination Referendum. The people of Southern Sudan need to keep watchful eyes on these voting materials. We do not want these degenerated, of the degenerated thugs to steal these voting materials.

      repondre message

  • 25 October 2010 08:32, by Akuma

    Well, Referendum will soon be held on timely scheduled because there will be no delay as Khartoum government expected. Registration must begin on time and the diaspora need to be transported back to Sudan in order to cast their vote on that referendum.

    Dr. Akuma
    USA

    repondre message

  • 25 October 2010 10:05, by Bol Bol

    The SPLM leadership must station Southern Sudanese representatives in 15 Northern states to ensure that those who are going to vote are true South Sudanese or else. Failing to do will allow NCP secretly encouges North Sudanese to pretend like Southerners and then vote for unity.

    repondre message

  • 25 October 2010 10:37, by Sudan virus

    I expected voting materials of southerns in the south to arrive first.
    Why rush with those of the southerns in the north?

    repondre message

  • 25 October 2010 10:52, by Sudan virus

    According to the latest smart census conducted recently ,there are only Five Hundred Thousand (500,000) southerns living in the north.

    repondre message

    • 25 October 2010 16:23, by Lokorai

      There are problems within this report of voting material arrival report.

      One key thing here is the one piece information that the materails that have arrived the country from South Africa are 90% of the total materials ordered. Then this report induced that the 90% materials will cover only 15 states in the North.

      Query: if the materials are indeed 90% then the South Sudan plus another state in the North aren’t in the South Africa material budget, why prioritize the Northern states first and not the South Sudan?

      Second problem in the report is the line that says, the deadline for Referendum Commission Formation and preparation is behind legal bounds and therefore the entire exercise now is illegal. Who’s fooling us here?

      Arab must stop projecting this shoddy report for the sake of complicating things. We will conduct the referendum without voting materials, and ask me how

      Lokorai

      repondre message

      • 26 October 2010 04:56, by Magos

        Yeah ,but we cannot open our teeths for those 90% voting materials which were arrival in South Sudan.We should still waiting for more implementation of reeferendum on time. Secondly we need peace keeping force in South -north border Because the enemy of Southern Sudan is now on preperation moving their army clossed to oil field in Bantiu Unity State.therefore north and South are in war.

        repondre message

  • 26 October 2010 13:58, by Gbatanyaki Justin

    It is a good news that the referendum commission has received most of the voting materials.However,I urge my fellow Southern Sudanese to be vigilant.Remember during the post elections in April, almost 90% of data entry was being controlled by the Jalaba (Notorious Arabs in the North).

    Therefore,we also need to have IT expertise in South so that we can be able to know more about the system (Computers) or whatsoever devices that are going to be used during this historical and critical time of referendum.

    Thank you

    repondre message

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