[Montréal, Québec, Canada -11°C] Preliminary voter registration results have been released in a December 13 statement by Al Hadi Muhammad Ahmed, Head of the National Election Commission’s Registration Committee. “The total of the registration up to now is 15,778,154. This percentage is 81% of the targeted number of people who are above 18 years according to the census,” he said.
Although the registration in the south began slowly, according to UNDP staff working with the National Election Commission (NEC), it quickly gained momentum in Southern Sudan. The SPLM-controlled region ended voter registration with a higher than average registration rate of around 86%. Today is the last day of the exhibition and objection process whereby a review of the registry is possible. The registration’s final result will be released by the NEC tomorrow.
This high rate of registration in the south may be due to a political pro-registration campaign from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) which claims that data from the 2008 census underestimates the number of Southerners. The difference may also reflect a high number of people that returned to South since the census. What is interesting is the high turnout in northern states of Southern Sudan.
Mawien Kuc, National Election Commission Chairperson for Northern Bahr el Ghazal (a Southern Sudan state that borders northern Sudan) told the Sudan Tribune , “We will have over one million people registered and ready to take part in the next national election scheduled to take place in April 2010.” Mawien Kuc said, “I am telling you that we really committed our resources for proper mobilization of our people during registration.”
Sudan finances the majority of the registration process while 43% comes from donors.
SOUTHERN SUDAN ELECTION PREPARATIONS (UNMIS)