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South Sudan's ten states report successes in polling.

By James Gatdet Dak April 16, 2010 (JUBA) -- Reports from all the ten states of Southern Sudan have indicated that the five days polling were successful and peaceful despite irregularities and claims of intimidations and arrests in some parts of the semi-autonomous region.

A polling station official empties a ballot box for the start of counting in Juba, southern Sudan on Friday, April 16, 2010. (AP)

There were also unconfirmed reports of isolated minor incidences resulting to lost of lives in some spots, however the polling went on successfully with some states reported to have covered nearly 90% of the registered voters as both official Southern Sudan Radio and TV plus independent international, regional and local media gave full coverage to the exercise. The first day of polling was marked by widespread irregularities of names missing, misplacements and delays which were squarely blamed on administrative and technical errors instead of intentional attempt of fraudulence. Improvements in tackling the irregularities were recognized in the last two days of the polling which officially closed on Thursday. Voters were generally satisfied and happy about the exercise, hoping that the results which are due to be announced by Tuesday next week would be accepted and pave the way for the region to begin preparing for the "most important" awaited referendum on independence of Southern Sudan nine months from now [January 2011]. More than three million Southern Sudanese were expected to have voted to elect their representatives among more than two thousand candidates contesting for ten gubernatorial positions and parliamentary seats at national, Southern Sudan and states levels. The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced that counting of votes would begin today, Friday, during which about 27 unopposed candidates in the country will also be announced winners. Final results including presidential winners in both Sudan and Southern Sudan are expected to be announced by Tuesday next week. The first multi-party executive and parliamentary election in 24 years, since 1986, was part of the peace deal to end 21 years of the North-South civil war. The deal, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), was signed in January 2005 between the dominant political party in the North, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the ruling party in the South, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Apr 17, 2010
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