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mia farrow

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September 24, 2010

Eric Reeves lays out the challenges facing South Sudan as they face the January referendum voting

three excerpts:
"Largely lost amid the welter of issues that define this vast and accelerating crisis are the actual mechanics of the referendum voting, and in particular the requirements for the southern referendum to achieve electoral legitimacy. Ominously in the case of Abyei, the Abyei Referendum Commission still has not been assembled, ensuring that voter registration will be largely unguided and extremely contentious, especially given Khartoum's "settling" of Misseriya Arabs in the region for the purpose of voting in the referendum. But it is in the details of voting and tabulation in the South that we may see the most potent weapon the Khartoum regime wields in denying legitimacy to the referendum results."  

"-while the referendum for the South will pass with 50 percent of the vote plus one, the vote will be binding only if 60 percent of the registered voters do in fact vote"

"And of course the means of voter suppression are everywhere. John Ashworth, in a superb overview of the current standing of CPA implementation, points out not only the difficulties faced by southern Sudanese (as many as 2 million) trying to register in northern Sudan, but how much easier it will be to rig the quorum numbers than the percentage voting for secession:

"Rigging the simple majority would be extremely difficult, as all indications are that a huge majority of voters will choose secession. However, the 60% quorum would be easier to rig. One tactic would be to make it difficult for registered voters to turn out, due to insecurity, transport and other problems. During the elections in April 2010 many voters found it difficult to cast their vote due to incomplete lists, lists being sent to the wrong polling stations, and other bureaucratic and logistical issues. These could conceivably be deliberately exacerbated in the referendum."


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