South Kordofan polls authority says no way to review vote-counting

11 May, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

The National Election Commission (NEC), which is organizing contentious elections in Sudan’s central state of South Kordofan, on Wednesday declared that the vote aggregation process has been finalized and there is no way to review it.

The situation in the oil-producing state of South Kordofan, where voting in long-delayed legislative and gubernatorial elections was largely peaceful, reached a tense point on Wednesday after the north Sudan sector of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls South Sudan, withdrew its agents from the committee handling aggregation of vote results.

SPLM officials cited claims of spotting a “bogus” polling station containing rigged ballot boxes in the absence of party agents and observers, saying their party would not resume participation in the committee unless NEC declares the said polling station null and void.

In a statement carried on Wednesday by Sudan’s official news agency SUNA, the Khartoum-based NEC closed the door for demands to review the results, saying that the process of vote counting, aggregation and tabulation of preliminary results had been finalized at the all 555 polling sites. The statement further added that party agents and candidates had signed the results in the presence of observers.

NEC said that the results had been delivered in sealed envelopes to the state’s high-commission, adding that now there is no way to review the results.

Meanwhile, the SPLM has responded to the offer put forward by its rival National Congress Party (NCP), which rules north Sudan, to share the state’s executive authority, saying it will not accept the deputy governor position in exchange for accepting fraud.

The secretary-general of the SPLM’s northern-sector, Yasir Arman, said in a press on Wednesday that the NCP’s offer to give the SPLM the position of deputy governor is not acceptable to the SPLM. “The SPLM will not accept rigging or seek war, but will rather engage in a peaceful democratic activity and unyielding civil resistance,” Arman said.

NCP official Nafi Ali Nafi on Tuesday said that his party was willing to offer the SPLM a share in the state’s governorship, reiterating claims that the NCP’s incumbent candidate Ahmad Harun, a man wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur region, won the vote.

SPLM officials also preempted the announcement of the results, declaring that their candidate for state governor, Abdul Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, won the vote.

Meanwhile, the NCP has stressed it will not allow any quarter to undermine security and stability in the state. NCP’s political secretariat Al-Haj Adam Yusif accused the SPLM of playing bad losers by boycotting vote-counting. “There is no point in boycotting it [vote-counting]. It is known that if one side realized it is going to lose the election, it will stir up troubles, this is not the first time it happens,” Yusif said.

Yusif further asserted that the state apparatus is capable of safeguarding citizens and asserting security at the time of results announcement.

Southern Kordofan, the site of oilfields and important civil war battlegrounds on the undefined north-south border, is key to Khartoum because it neighbors Darfur and the disputed oil-producing border region of Abyei border, 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 a census disagreement, was largely peaceful but analysts fear an outbreak of violence when results are announced.


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