South Kordofan vote enters final day as SPLM claims fraud

3 May, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

Voting in gubernatorial and legislative elections of Sudan’s central state of South Kordofan has entered its final day on Wednesday amid reports of large turnout and accusations of irregularities.

Attention has riveted on Sudan’s central state of South Kordofan as its citizens began going to the polls on Monday to elect a state governor and members of the state’s assembly, in a sensitive exercise that was postponed for over a year since Sudan held countrywide elections in April 2010.

The vote was rescheduled after disagreements over the results of the 2008 census in the state as well as delimitation of geographical constituencies were remedied by the Khartoum-based National Elections Commission (NEC), which oversees the process.

Adam Abdeen Isma’il, the head of the state’s high elections commission, NEC’s subsidiary body, was quoted on Tuesday by Sudan’s state-run news agency SUNA as saying that the rate of turnout has exceeded 50 percent in a number of polling stations.

The election official said that all polls in the state would be closed on Wednesday evening as the process of vote counting kick-start immediately afterward.

Meanwhile, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), whose candidate and the state’s deputy governor, Abdul Aziz Adam All-Hilu, is running in gubernatorial elections against the ruling National congress Party’s incumbent candidate, Ahmad Harun, on Tuesday issued a press release citing reports of irregularities.

The SPLM claimed that three ballot boxes were seized in the area of Um-Battah in the state’s Kadugli town. It also said that one polling station was relocated from the police club to Al-Merikh in Al-Bananusa in the geographical constituency number 7 without prior notice.

In a related development, Sudan’s minister of interior Ibrahim Mahmud Hamdi on Tuesday visited Kadugli and inspected a number of polling centers. According to SUNA, the minister said he expects the elections to become “a role model of democratic exercise” for the rest of the country.

Mahmud went on to assure that all indications confirm that the process would progress calmly until the results are announced.

The run-up to South Kordofan elections was mired in tension after the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces (PDF) attacked El-Feid village in mid-April, leaving 17 people dead and hundreds of houses destroyed.

The SPLM accused Ahmad Harun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes related to the eight-year conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, of mobilizing the PDF to attack the village.


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