SPLM Southern Dep. Secretary General Highlights Voting Experience: Calls on NEC to Correct Problems

Cde. Dr. Anne Itto calls on NEC officials at every level to work to fix problems experienced during first day of polling.







JUBA (12 Apr) – On Monday, Cde. Dr. Anne Itto, deputy secretary general of the SPLM Southern Sector, returned from her home constituency in Pageri, Eastern Equatoria State, where she voted late yesterday after a long delay caused by searching several polling stations for her name.

“It is the first time I have ever voted in my life and I felt terrific knowing that I have chosen the leader of my choice for the next government,” said the Deputy Secretary General, despite the challenges she faced.

Cde. Dr. Anne also witnessed other excited Southern Sudanese voters who were patient and determined to vote in a cooperative and peaceful manner. She also observed that more women were queuing up to vote than men and youth put together. The overall atmosphere was generally festive and calm as this was the first time nearly all of these residents had voted in their lives.

She noted though that there were frustrations on the faces of voters who were experiencing problems. At many polling stations Cde. Dr. Anne noted serious irregularities, in particular that voter lists were either misplaced, incorrect, or just not present at any of the polling stations. This left many voters to search for the correct polling station with their name so they could vote – some traveled for up to 25 miles to find their name.

Many polling stations did not open on time if at all, they did not have the proper materials to include ballot papers and boxes. During her survey of the polling process in Pageri, Cde. Dr. Anne witnessed that police did not arrive until midday in at least four polling stations.

The Deputy Secretary General also foresees that there will be shortage of ballot papers in her constituency. “NEC figures show that Pageri Constituency has over 21,000 registered voters, but only 16,000 ballot papers were delivered,” she said.

Cde. Dr. Anne called on the National Elections Commission, the Southern Sudan High Committee on Elections, and State High Committees to work harder to correct the many logistical and management problems experienced on the first day of polling.

“I am disappointed in their performance so far and they need to make every effort possible to improve the process,” said the Deputy Secretary General.

The Deputy Secretary General will be holding a briefing for the domestic and international media and election observers each day at 5 p.m. throughout the polling period.

This is an official communication from the SPLM Deputy Secretary General for the Southern Sector and is intended for informational purposes. Any questions or comments should be directed to Ayen Deng at ayen.achol@splmtoday.com or +249923155338 or +249955133953.



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