By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
KHARTOUM, (Sudanow) –The two major observers missions for the Southern Sudan Referendum, the European Union Elections Observation Mission-southern Sudan Referendum, and the Carter Centre, with over 200 observers deployed in and outside the Sudan, said they were satisfied with the outcome of the process , and described it as credible and almost up to par with international standards.
Both Carter Center and the EU observers said they believed the turnout for the referendum was overwhelming and that it exceeds the 60 percent needed to make the process legal.
"It is clear that the southern Sudanese voters participated in the referendum in an overwhelming manner, well in excess of the 60 per cent required to validate the referendum" the European Union Chief Observers Veronique de Keyser, said in a press conference on Monday to mark the launch of a preliminary report on the process.
She said holding the referendum on time was a remarkable achievement and a major milestone in the implementation of ht e comprehensive peace agreement woo which the European union is also a witness.
De Keyser said although final turnout figures will only be released by the southern Sudan referendum commission at the conclusion of the results processing phase " it is clear that the southern Sudanese voters participated in the referendum in an overwhelming manner, well in excess of the 60 percent required to validate the referendum.
Keyser said in the preliminary conclusions that the EU Election Observation Mission found the process to date to be "efficient and well organized, with polling official well trained. Voter registration was carried out effectively and according to procedures."
The European mission have sent 110 observers and experts who submitted 1261 reports and effected some 800 visit to referendum centers in south and northern Sudan.
Meanwhile The Carter Center which sends over 100 observers that made "some thousand visits" to polling stations in and outside the Sudan said they were satisfied with the outcome of the process so far.
Vice president of the Carter Centre, Justice Joseph Warioba, former Prime Minister of Tanzania, has said the southern Sudan referendum went in line with international norms with such process and that the turn out was huge but it was well over the 60 percent threshold need to make the process legal.
Warioba, Vice president of the Carter Centre, told a separate press conference that the referendum was carried out in a peaceful and orderly adding that it was broadly consistent with international standards.
"while several critical stages of t he process remain to be completed before the final result s will be announced, the carter centre finds that the referendum process to date is broadly consistent with international standards for the democratic elections and represents the guanine expression of the will of the electorate" he said.
But both carter center and the EU said there were small irregularities that do not tarnish t he overall outcome of the referendum. They both quoted what they called "assisted votes" and security presence in and outside the polling stations. But they said it was intended to secure the process, though sometimes it could be a source of intimidation for the voters.
"Equally impressive is that the referendum took place in a calm, peaceful and orderly environment, thus adding to the referendum's credibility, in both southern Sudan and the northern state," the European Union said in its preliminary report.
The referendum on self determination of southern Sudan is mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed on January 9, 2005, by the government of Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/SPLM), ending 22 years of civil war in the
The outcome of the referendum which will be announced on February the 7th, will decide whether the southerners will remain part of the Sudan or create their own independent state.
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