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Sudan Secession Referendum Vote 'Broadly Fair'


A member of the polling staff helps a Southern Sudanese woman to vote at a polling center in the suburb of al-Jereif in Khartoum, Sudan, 14 Jan 2011

A member of the polling staff helps a Southern Sudanese woman to vote at a polling center in the suburb of al-Jereif in Khartoum, Sudan, 14 Jan 2011

An official from north Sudan's ruling National Congress Party says the south's referendum vote on secession has been "broadly fair."

In an interview with Reuters news agency, the NPC's Ibrahim Ghandour said his party will accept the outcome of the vote, which he said will likely be for the south becoming independent.

He said the weeklong vote seems to be going smoothly and peacefully.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says southern Sudan's independence referendum will likely meet international standards on fairness of the vote.

The former president is in Sudan to observe the voting, which runs through Saturday.

The referendum is part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan's north-south civil war.

Under rules of the poll, a majority of voters must choose separation in order for southern Sudan to become an independent country.

In addition, 60 percent of registered voters must take part in the poll. The referendum commission said Wednesday that the threshold has already been reached.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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