NCP dares SPLM to prove claims of vote rigging in South Kordofan

4 May, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

Rhetoric flared up on Wednesday between north and South Sudan as the latter accused the former of attempting to rig elections in the country’s central state of South Kordofan.

Polls in gubernatorial and legislative elections of South Kordofan State closed on Wednesday after two days of voting.

No incidents of violence were reported during the hotly-contested vote, which was postponed from April 201o as Sudan held nationwide elections due to disagreements over census results and delimitation of geographical constituencies.

The results of the elections are due to be announced on 10 May amid a climate of suspense due to the sensitivity of the vote and its future implications for the relations between north and south Sudan, which is due to secede in July.

The National elections Commission (NEC), which oversees the exercise, said that 80 percent of the eligible voters had cast their ballots on the first day.

Vote-counting was supposed to proceed immediately after the polls closed, but the north Sudan sector of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls south Sudan, on Wednesday said it objects to the beginning of counting.

The SPLM said in a press release that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan had a three-phase plan to rig the elections.

It claimed that its members had found three rigged ballot boxes in the areas of Kadugli, Buram and Al-Quzair.

On Tuesday, 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.

Meanwhile, the NCP’s incumbent candidate in gubernatorial elections, Ahmad Haroun, responded with a press conference in which he challenged the SPLM to substantiate its claims against his party.

Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes allegedly committed in the country’s western region of Darfur, said that the SPLM should refrain from “badly-directed theatrical plays.”

The two frontrunners in the state’s gubernatorial elections are Ahmad Haroun and the SPLM’s Abdul Aziz Al-Hilu. The latter recently announced his intention to form an all inclusive government should he win the vote.

Ahmad Haroun followed suit yesterday, announcing that he would form a national government which includes all political forces if he won the vote.

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 Haroun of instigating the PDF attack with the intent of scuttling the elections. The SPLM also accused the NCP of violating the elections law by using state-resources to support the campaign. of its candidate

Sudan’s April 2010 general elections, which re-elected the NCP in the north and the SPLM in the south, was marred by opposition boycotts and reports of mass fraud.


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