SUDAN WATCH: South Sudan Democratic Forum says voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

South Sudan Democratic Forum says voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The South Sudan Democratic Forum says the voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan.

The chairman of the South Sudan Democratic Forum, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Government of Southern Sudan, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, addressed a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday.

[Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro,]: “The voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan and I think this is because the NEC and the Elections High Committee in the south did not do their work as we expected. These two committees have failed in their work. Why am I saying this? First of all, voters’ education started very late and it was inadequate and for that reason citizens do not know why they are being registered. Are we being registered for elections or for the referendum? There are some people who say let those who want to contest the elections come first so that we can register. Many people in many areas do not understand what voter registration is all about and I think this is a major failure.”

Dr. Lomuro cited some of the challenges facing the exercise in southern Sudan.

[Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro]: “First of all, there are no vehicles; there is only one vehicle for each county. They are very old vehicles which cannot travel everywhere, especially with the poor roads in southern Sudan. Secondly, there are no motorbikes, and no bicycles. Also, each registration official was given 100 SDG as living expenses for the period from November 1 to November 30. Then they are to be given 1000 SDG. That means that each registrar spends 3 SDG daily for survival and they are operating in areas where they don’t know anybody - and they also use this limited amount of money for food and accommodation.”

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro was speaking in Khartoum on Sunday.

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