South Sudan elections marred by ballot shortages

Juba- Sudan (PANA) -- Eager voters in Sudanâ?s historic presidential, parliamentary and governorship elections queued to vote on Monday, the second day of a three-day voting period, which has been marred by a shortage of ballots and missing names from the voter register.
Sudanâ?s multiple elections kicked off peacefully across the country on Sunday, despite a boycott by several leading political parties.
But the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) insisted on carrying out the vote despite calls for a brief delay.
South Sudanâ?s dominant political party, the Sudan Peopleâ?s Liberation Movement (SPLM), is among the political parties that have boycotted the historic elections, the first multiparty vote since 1986.
In Juba, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan, angry voters lamented the long delay in the delivery of the ballot boxes and other voting materials.
â?This vote is very critical because of the 2011 referendum.
We need this vote because most of the people in South Sudan have never voted in their lives,â? said Atim Garang, a voter in Juba, who was waiting to cast his vote.
Sudanâ?s Independent Electoral Commission officials in Juba said the ballot boxes were delivered to the Juba University polling station without lids.
The lack of lids forced electoral officials to delay the start of voting, and .
the late delivery of the ballot boxes made several voters angry.
One angry voter said the government should resign for failing to convene an election free from irregularities.
South Sudanâ?s President Salva Kiir, also Sudanâ?s First Vice President, was among the early voters on Sunday.
But the Presidential candidate, whose opponent is running as an independent candidate, spoilt his first vote and was allowed to cast his vote again.
Reports from capital, Khartoum, indicated the second-day of voting was because several names were missing from the voter register.
Southern Sudanese voters are expected to elect 271 lawmakers for the regionâ?s parliament as well as state governors.

12 april 2010 13:06:00




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