Sudan Domestic Election Monitoring and Observation Programme

11th April, 2010

The Sudan Domestic Election Monitoring and Observation Programme (SuDEMOP) congratulate the citizens of Southern Sudan for turning up in large numbers to vote on the first day of the historic 2010 Sudan General Elections. We commend women for their notable participation. SuDEMOP appreciates the cooperation that the National Election Commission has accorded to domestic and international observers.

SuDEMOP observers deployed in a various polling stations across Southern Sudan have reported that voters are very enthusiastic and eager to exercise their right to vote. Voting began peacefully and calmly. While SuDEMOP acknowledge the massive work done by the National Elections Commission to ensure the start of the three day voting process, we are expressly concerned about the myriad logistical, procedural and administrative constrains that caused serious delays in the setting up, the opening of polling centers and the beginning of voting. In most polling stations in Southern Sudan voting began slowly due to crowding and the inability of voters to quickly identify their names on extracts from the voters register which were posted outside the polling centers for voters to confirm their names before queuing to vote. Delays were also caused by insufficiency of voting materials in most polling stations.

One of the shortcomings that seriously affected voting on the first day of voting was the mix-up of voter’s registers from various polling stations. The extracts of the voters register which were posted outside polling stations shortly after opening of polling stations did not necessarily have the names of registered voters in the particular polling stations where they were posted and many voters had to move from one polling center to the other searching for their names.

Many polling stations opened after 10 AM. A very few polling stations observed opened just slightly later than the stipulated time which is 8:00AM. SuDEMOP appeals to NEC to ensure the timely opening of all polling stations during the remaining two days of voting. We are concerned that if this situation is not addressed promptly, the period of voting might not be sufficient and many voters may not be able to vote by the last day of voting.

In some polling stations, voting could not start because the ballot papers that were received by NEC officials were not for those specific polling centers. SuDEMOP observers established that voting had to be postponed in six polling stations in Maridi, two in Malakal and one in Bentiu because the voters register did not correspond to the names of voters who turned up to vote in those polling stations and the ballot papers received by NEC officials belonged to other constituencies. We encourage the National Election Commission to ensure a smooth administration of voting during the remaining period of voting. SUDEMOP also highly encourage voters to continue voting on the second and third days of voting despite the difficulties.

For Further Information Contact SuDEMOP Secretariat
Tel: 0955 057 002

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