Day Two: Over 50% Voter Turnout in South Kordofan

By: Abdullah Abu Al Bashar

4 May, 2011 (Sudan Vision Daily)

Voting is progressing smoothly in South Kordofan supplementary elections with no major hiccups, said Interior Minister, Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid adding, ''The exercise is a unique lesson on the democratic process.''

Following a tour of some electoral stations in South Kordofan and a meeting with the security committee supervising the process, Hamid expected the vote will continue calmly till the final results are announced.

''I can say that the process will come to an end peacefully and with complete freedom for the citizens to practice their rights,'' he said.

The minister also criticized the use of force in elections, pointing out that real force is reflected on ballots. He called on those who are not so lucky in elections to be patient and accept the results while preparing for coming elections.

Initial results are expected as early as 8 May, while the final results will be endorsed by 30 May.

The minister reviewed progress of election's security plan, and said he investigated with the highest committee of elections all requirements of security, affirming his ministry's commitment to ensure stability throughout the election process.

He said that recent events in Abyei are normal, affirming presence of alert measures taken by interior to contain situation, pointing out that although joint troops had reached Abyei according to plan, they were attacked.

''It is regrettable that in the frame of Kadugli Agreement it was agreed that there should be joint forces to control the external security, but inside Abyei there should be ordinary regular police forces,'' he said.

''It seems that the SPLM doesn’t want to commit to the agreement.  The SPLM brought its component from the joint forces, but when the Sudanese Armed Forces brought its components it was attacked,'' the minister said.

On the other hand, Governor of South Kordofan, Mawlana Ahmad Haroun told the press that Interior Minister's visit to South Kordofan is conducted to review the security situation. He affirmed that situations in different parts of the region are stable and calm.

Head of the highest committee, Adam Abdeen Ismial pointed out that rate of voter turnout has surpassed 50 percent, adding that number of centers have witnessed voters' complaints, affirming that elections is expected to go on as smoothly as it has begun.

Electoral stations are to be closed Wednesday night in preparation for counting and sorting in addition to announcing final outputs.An international observation mission and foreign diplomats are stationed in South Kordofan observing the registration process and the campaigns.


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