News / Africa

Sudan Referendum Official Pleased With Voter Turn Out

An elderly Southern Sudanese woman casts her vote Monday in a ballot box at a polling center in the city of Um Durman, Sudan, Jan. 10, 2011
An elderly Southern Sudanese woman casts her vote Monday in a ballot box at a polling center in the city of Um Durman, Sudan, Jan. 10, 2011


  • Justice Chan Reec Madut, deputy chairman of the south Sudan referendum commission spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The deputy chairman of the south Sudan referendum commission said he is pleased so far with the organization of the vote, as well as the turn out since voting began Sunday.

Justice Chan Reec Madut also called on registered southern Sudanese who are yet to vote to do so before the end of the landmark referendum.

“All that I want to ensure is that the referendum is conducted in a free, fair and transparent session and, so far, it has gone very well. Today, I went out to Eastern Equatorial…The mood was just the same, it’s all dancing, singing  and (a) huge turnout,” he said.

The week-long voting is reportedly proceeding smoothly and peacefully in most areas. The referendum commission said 20 percent of registered southerners -- about 750,000 people -- cast their votes Sunday, the opening day of the poll. The referendum continues through Saturday.

Madut told VOA southern Sudanese are the best people to determine whether his commission organized a smooth and a credible referendum.

“The judgment is left to the people. I know that we have been charged, as members of the commission, to conduct the referendum in the shortest time possible beginning from July last year when we were appointed to the commission. And, we did what we could and, thank God, we have managed to beat the time. So, the referendum has taken place as it was planned and agreed upon.”

He also praised the political commitment of both the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in helping his commission to organize the referendum.

Most analysts predict the south will vote to separate from the north. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to accept the results and help the south, regardless of the outcome.

Dignitaries from around the world, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, are in Sudan to observe the vote.

Nearly 4 million people are registered to vote in the week-long poll, including some in northern Sudan and abroad. Preliminary results are expected next week.

Under terms of the peace deal, 60 percent of registered voters must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.