By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
Khartoum, (Sudanow) - The Arab league mission to monitor the referendum in southern Sudan has confirmed that despite some minor drawbacks which would not affect the veracity of the process, “the referendum and the voting were characterized by a high degree of transparency and integrity in line with international standard”.
A statement issued by the Arab league, two days after the polling stations were closed and counting started with expectations that the southerners have overwhelmingly voted for separation, has conceded that the outcome of the voting “elicit respect for the outcomes produced by the ballot box”.
The statement said it was in compliance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of the 2005, witnessed by the League of the Arab States and under the relevant Arab summits resolutions requesting the contribution of the Arab league in monitoring the referendum of self determination for southern Sudan, that the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Amre Moussa, dispatched a mission of 80 members to monitor this referendum.
The statement the mission which covered 18 out of the country’s 25 states, including 11 states northern states and seven southern States and that its observers visited about 417 centers , that include points of ballots in various states.
“The Arab league mission followed up closely the performance of the referendum procedures in all stages starting from approval of the referendum law through the registration of voters’ lists leading to the polling counting and sorting and eventually the process of data entry.” The statement stressed.
It added that the mission has equally carried out contacts and meetings with the Sudanese Referendum Commission as well as periodic meetings with the United Nations Committee on Control of Referendum for Southern Sudan, and with all the other International Missions participating in monitoring process including the missions of the African Union the European Union and IGAD as well as the Carter Centre. These communications and meetings focused on sharing information and observations on the functioning of the referendum process and were characterized by consensus.
The statement the league has concluded that the mission has commended the timely opening of the majority of polling centers, the provision of all logistic and polling materials, the compatibility of boxes and insulators with the internationally accepted standards and specifications, good presence of members of the polling centers with the allocation of specific task to each member in the voting process, the effective participation of women in the polling stations, the cooperation of the heads of centers with voters and observers, provision of facilities for the disabled and the elderly and assistances for the illiterate in voting and the significant and active presence of civil society organizations and international observers. It also commended the intensive presence of the local and international media and the sustained security outside the polling stations.
The league was however critical that “some voters were underage” and that there was “discrepancy between the number enrolled in some centers and the number registered on the list of the commission.”
It also criticized what it described as “propaganda manifestations …in some polling stations by some staff of the centers and local observers, and there were no illustrations that guide the voters to details and steps of the voting process.”
It also complained that in some polling centers the Lists of voters were inexistent outside some polling stations in the southern states.
However the statement said the mission has added that “in spite of these negative aspects the Arab league mission to monitor the referendum confirms that these drawbacks do not affect the veracity of the process which was characterized by a high degree of transparency and integrity in line with international standard eliciting respect for eh outcomes produced by the ballot box. “
The League has appealed to all “concerned national, regional and international parties to exert efforts and work collectively to achieve security and stability and peace based on the principle of brotherhood equality and justice in all parts of the Sudan”.
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