Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Some 98.81% of southerners in Sudan have voted for secession, with a tiny percentage voting for unity, according to interim results published on the website of Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC).
The results, being updated regularly, have shown that the commission has processed 100% of the votes in north, 98.7% of centres outside Sudan and 98.7% of the votes in southern Sudan.
The commission said the overall results showed that 1.19% of the voters opted for unity (44,830 votes), against 98.81% for secession (3,734,280 votes).
It said the total votes cast were 3,793,572, of which 3,779,110 were valid while blank votes stand at 6,194 and invalid votes 8,268.
According to the figures, the vote was 100% for secession in some lakes state, while the lowest percentage was reported in eastern Bahr Ghazal state, where 97.5% voted for secession.
However, the official website cautioned that these are incomplete and provisional results, pending the declaration of preliminary and final results.
The official results are scheduled for release early next month.
The referendum is the last stage in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 22 years of civil war between the north and the south.
The CPA stipulates that southerners should vote to decide whether they want to remain part of the Sudan or create their own state, in the south.
According to the Southern Sudan Commission Act, at least 60% of the registered voters should cast their ballots for the referendum results to be valid. Authorities said that thresh-hold has been crossed.
Hundreds of local, regional and international observers, including the Carter Centre, the African Union, the European Union and the League of the Arab States, monitored the referendum.
-0- PANA MO/SEG 23Jan2011