Sudan referendum: Arab league commends outcome

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The Arab League said Monday it was happy with the conduct of the Sudan referendum, describing it as meeting the international norms and standards.

The league said it dispatched dozens of monitors who covered 18 out of the country’s 25 states and that they came out satisfied with “that the referendum and voting were characterized by a high degree of transparency and integrity in line with international standard."

A statement 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, conceded that the outcome of the voting will “elicit respect for the outcomes produced by the ballot box."

The statement said it was in compliance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 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 the referendum.

The statement said the Arab League mission commended the timely opening of the majority of polling centres, the provision of all logistic and polling materials, the compatibility of boxes and insulators, with the internationally accepted standards and specifications.

The statement commended the provision of facilities for the disabled and the elderly and assistance for the illiterate in voting and the significant and active presence of civil society organizations and international observers.

It praised 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 underaged” and that there was “discrepancy between the number enrolled in some centres and the number registered on the list of the commission.”

It criticized what it described as “propaganda manifestations …in some polling stations by some staff of the centres and local observers and there were no illustrations that guide the voters to details and steps of the voting process.”

However, the statement said the mission had added that “in spite of these negative aspects, the Arab League's mission to monitor the referendum confirmed that these drawbacks did not affect the veracity of the process, which was characterized by a high degree of transparency and integrity in line with international standards, eliciting respect for the outcomes produced by the ballot box."
-0- PANA MO/BOS 17Jan2011

17 يناير 2011 20:26:39

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