Election in Sudan's Southern Kordofan marred by disputed results(Read article summary)
The leading opposition party in Southern Kordofan state says that the elections that brought the ruling party's candidate to power were fraudulent and the tension could lead to renewed conflict.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters
Alleged war criminal Ahmed Haroun was announced the winner of the Southern Kordofan governorâ€™s race this past Sunday, in elections that the leading opponent party, the SPLM, has called fraudulent.
According to the National Elections Commission, the national body that is running the vote, Haroun won with 201,000 votes, over the SPLM candidateâ€™s 194,000. The ruling northern party also won more seats than the SPLM in the legislative assembly.
Though the polling period was largely peaceful, tensions between the two main parties, the NCP (which backed Haroun) and the SPLM, heightened during the counting and results period. The southern ruling party withdrew from the tabulation process last Tuesday on the grounds that a fake polling centerâ€™s votes had been included in the count. When the committees tasked with aggregating the results continued their work despite the SPLMâ€™s absence, the party announced it would not recognize the election results on Friday.
â€śWe declare that we will not recognize the electionsâ€™ outcome whatsoever, and we will not participate in any legislative or executive authority produced through this vote,â€ť said Abdelaziz al-Hilu, the SPLM contender for the governorâ€™s seat. Al-Hilu also charged that the NEC is collaborating with the NCP.
An Africa Confidential piece on the Southern Kordofan race reports that initial results showed SPLMâ€™s al-Hilu with a lead of 11,000 votes. His lead was later reduced to 4,000. Africa Confidential cited an SPLM official who charged that this was a result of electoral manipulation by the NCP. â€śIt was clear that Ahmed Mohamaed Haroun had lost his bid to be elected Governor of Southern Kordofanâ€ť the article argued, citing opposition sources that said the NCP sent presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie to Kadugli to personally tell the NEC to declare Haroun the winner.
In an interview with the BBCâ€™s James Copnall, Hafiz Mohamed of Justice Africa called the vote â€śa failed, democratic exercise.â€ť He added, â€śIt is clear that the NCP is controlling the election commission and that they donâ€™t have their own will.â€ť The potential for renewed conflict in the Nuba Mountains to result is large, he said.
The Carter Center, the only international electoral observation body monitoring the elections, has not yet released a statement.