SPLM & NCP claim win in South Kordofan gubernatorial elections
7 May, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) both preempted the announcement of election results in South Kordofan saying their candidates for governor have won.
The state’s incumbent governor Ahmed Haroun, representing the NCP in control of the north, is running against his deputy Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu who is a leading figure in the SPLM which is the dominant party in the South.
Haroun is known internationally as he is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes he allegedly committed in Darfur.
Even though the South will become an independent state officially next July, the SPLM says it will retain a presence in the North through its Northern sector.
Southern Kordofan, the site of oilfields and important civil war battlegrounds on the undefined north-south border, is key to Khartoum because its neighbors are Darfur and the disputed oil-producing Abyei border region, another possible flashpoint between both sides in the build-up to the South’s secession.
The vote in South Kordofan, which was delayed from a year ago over census disagreement, was largely peaceful but analysts fear an outbreak of violence when results are announced.
Yesterday the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel said that figures it obtained show a lead for the SPLM candidate by 14,000 votes.
But the deputy NCP chairman in South Kordofan Mohi Al-Toum Hamed said in press statements that any accurate count will show a big win for the Northern based party. He alleged that the SPLM wants to prepare the ground for not recognizing the outcome of the polls.
An SPLM senior figure however dismissed the NCP claims.
"I can not speculate on the results which are being counted. I cannot tell you who would win these elections but, it is clear from preliminary results that comrade Abdel-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu will eventually lead the results", said James Wani Igga, speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly, in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba.
Igga said he is self-assured that his comrade will win if elections commission concludes the counting without succumbing to military and political pressures.
The elections commission is scheduled to release preliminary results on Sunday and transmit it to headquarters for certification in mid-May. There is a two weeks appeal window afterwards for those willing to challenge the results.
But the top election official in South Kordofan Adam Abdeen told Sudan Tribune that the process of matching votes to registered voters is proceeding slowly and said there are proposals of forming additional committees to speed up the process.
The authorities in South Kordofan urged the residents to accept the results irrespective of the winner and announced a set of measures include a ban on using weapons and staffing rallies during the count and up to announcing results.
Nasir Kuku, a native of Nuba Mountains from Kadugli told Sudan Tribune in a separate interview that the NCP faced its toughest challenge since elections campaign began.
Kuku said candidates from both parties spent the last days of official campaign period explaining policies and programs while apologizing for mistakes and perceived arrogance amid growing voter discontent over soaring mistrust and insecurity in the state
"There are immediate problems on everyone’s minds, like the growing mistrust and insecurity in the state polarized by religious and political affiliations. They need a fair minded political leader to find way to address them as issues of priorities".
"Our people need a party that will bring peace and development. They do not need a party that resorts to arming civilians to kill each other instead of bringing them together to address their differences", he said declining to mention the party to which cast his vote.
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