Elections last week in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan were generally well conducted despite a number of deficiencies, according to the findings of a citizen observation group, the Sudanese Group for Democracy and Elections (SuGDE). The group deployed 90 observers for gubernatorial and state legislative elections held May 2-5.
Active participation by political parties, improved management of materials and polling committees, and the absence of violence and voter intimidation during the voting period were among the positive steps, SuGDE reported. “However, certain deficiencies remained in other aspects of the election, including late dissemination of voter information and inadequate management of the voter registration process,” the statement said. SuGDE also noted concerns “over incidents of vote buying and campaigning at the polling committees.”
The Southern Kordofan elections were originally slated to take place in April 2010, as stipulated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the Sudanese civil war, but the polls were delayed by disputes over the national census and voter registration. The National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan’s two major political parties, were battling for control of this key border state.
SuGDE also highlighted in their statement their “concern about rising tensions in the state,” a reference to an ongoing dispute between the National Election Commission (NEC) and the SPLM over voter discrepancies and the fact that both the NCP and the SPLM claimed a gubernatorial victory before the release of official results. The group urged “…all parties to continue to observe the counting and tabulation process peacefully and to deal with all disputes through appropriate legal mechanisms.”
The results of the election were to be announced May 10. However, since then there have been numerous unresolved disputes between the SPLM and the NEC that have kept the commission from completing its tasks. The NEC aims to issue preliminary results on May 15, but has not set a release date for final results.
- Read the full statement form SuGDE»
- Read the preliminary joint statement from SuGDE and SuNDE on the January referendum»
- Find a collection of statements on the referendum from SuNDE and SuGDE here»
Pictured above: Members of SuGDE enter Southern Kordofan election observer data.
Published May 13, 2011