Sudan registers 15 million voters for 2010 polls

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- The United Nations has welcomed the conclusion of a vot er-registration process in the Sudan, which culminated in the registration of so m e 15 million people eligible to take part in the April, 2010, elections.
The United Nations Secretary-General's Special representative for Sudan, Ashra f Jehangir Qazi, welcomed the exercise, which was conducted peacefully.
The voter-registration process netted over 75 per cent of the estimated voting-a ge population of the nearly 21 million Sudanese citizens.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) on 7 December wrapped up the most inclus ive voter- registration exercise ever held in the Sudan.
Registration centres were opened throughout the country, and millions came to re gister in person between 1 November and 7 December.
In previous elections, large parts of the country were unable to participate due to more than 20 years of civil war that divided the North and South.
Qazi commended the NEC for launching the national exercise according to sche dule and extending it for an additional seven days in order to make the process m ore inclusive.
"The completion of voter registration is a significant benchmark in the electo ral process as the voters' list is the basis for next year's elections.
We ar e now one step closer to the holding of Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years and to achieving a major milestone in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)," said Qazi.
While applauding the conclusion of the exercise, Qazi urged the Sudanese people to help ensure the integrity of the voters' list by participating in the curren t display and objection period which began on 10 December.
During this period, registered voters have the opportunity to confirm their name s on the preliminary list, request corrections if errors have been made, and obj e ct to the inclusion of any ineligible persons on the list.
To further ensure the integrity of the voters' list, he also called upon the N EC to quickly and completely investigate any complaints raised by political part i es about alleged irregularities in the exercise and to take steps to file charge s against those responsible.
This is crucial for the credibility of the exercise.
Qazi thanked the CPA parties for their part in ensuring an inclusive and peacefu l voter registration process, but urged them to ensure that their members abide b y and respect the rules of the NEC.
"The CPA parties are the ones responsible for ensuring that the environment fo r conducting these elections is an open and fair one, avoiding any malpractices a nd irregularities that would otherwise compromise or destroy the integrity and c r edibility of the upcoming elections and referendum," he added.

14 december 2009 15:09:00

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