Referendum Commission Pleased With Conduct of Sudan Vote
Referendum Commission Pleased With Conduct of Sudan Vote

An official of Sudan?s referendum commission told VOA both the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People?s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have indicated their willingness to accept the outcome of the just-ended referendum.

Commission spokesman George Benjamin said his organization is so far pleased with the conduct of the week-long vote congratulating southern Sudanese for being peaceful and comporting themselves in a ?civil manner? during the voting period.

?The referendum process is going on well and it?s going on normal and going as planned. All the centers are engaged in counting. Counting is going on very well and we are having initial results from here and there,? said Benjamin.

?It seems everything went very well and this is by the testimony of many important organizations that were observing the process. Many of them gave statements to the fact that the process went well and that it was in accordance with international standards, and so we are going for a good ending.?

International observers have voiced their approval for the conduct of southern Sudan's independence referendum.

Benjamin said, despite challenges, the referendum commission was able to organize a credible vote that meets international standards.

?The referendum commission is really very pleased about its performance and about its achievement. Particularly, it underwent difficult conditions when it was started. The time was really too short?but, at the end, the process ended very well without problems and even without security issues. So, the commission is very pleased,? said Benjamin.

?The NCP and the SPLM have confirmed through statements made by the leadership of both parties that they are also satisfied with the process and they are satisfied with the progress of work, and that the process was really conducted under conditions of calm and peace and that everybody agrees that the process was credible and transparent.?

The European Union said Monday the week-long vote to decide the region's future was credible and carried out peacefully.

A group of observers, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, said the vote was ?consistent with international standards.? The Carter Center also said that, based on early results, ?it appears virtually certain? that Sudan's mostly-Christian south will secede from the mainly Muslim north.

Preliminary returns from large southern cities point to overwhelming support for secession. The referendum commission also says 97 percent of southern Sudanese who voted in Egypt opted for separation.

An announcement of final results is not expected 14th February. If the people of the south approve independence, southern Sudan will become its own country in July.