A prominent member of Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) told VOA several concerned groups in south Sudan will soon petition the country’s Constitutional Court to seek an end to the ongoing voter registration ahead of January’s referendum.
The ruling NCP said the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has flouted the Referendum Act by intimidating and harassing prospective voters.
Rabie Abdelati Obeid said the groups will claim that intimidation and harassment of prospective voters will undermine the credibility of the voters’ list, as well as the upcoming referendum.
“[They] will ask the Constitutional Court to look into the case [of intimidations and harassment] and to cancel the registration that is already underway due to the violations. These practices are against the transparency and the freedom and will affect the referendum,” said Obeid.
“Therefore, this registration should be canceled so that the registration will be [in accordance with] the Referendum Act and the interim constitution… and that, if conducted, the results of the referendum will be void, as the registration is void,” he said.
The governing NCP also said that there is enough evidence to prove that officials of the SPLM encouraged southerners living in the north not to register for the January 9 referendum.
But, the SPLM denies the accusation saying it is rather members of the NCP that are engaged in intimidation and harassment of southerners living in the north.
Sudan’s referendum commission is compiling a voters’ list in both north and south that would be used to conduct the referendum.
Obeid said his party has expressed similar concerns about what he said were obstacles in the voter registration that could lead to a failed referendum.
“The request [petition] may also point out wrong steps taken by the referendum commission regarding those people appointed at the registration centers because a majority of them are under 40 years [of age], whereas the [referendum] Act mentions that all the employees working in the registration centers should be at least 40 years old,” said Obeid.
He also said there are indications that non-Sudanese are being encouraged to register to vote in the January referendum.