Voting comes to end in S.Sudan's independence test

As polls close after weeklong referendum, all predictions point to South separating; officials and observers report high voter turnout.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 15, 2011 17:57
1 minute read.
Voting on Sudan referendum

Sudan voting 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Don't show it again

JUBA, Sudan — A small handful of voters cast ballots Saturday, the final day of Southern Sudan's weeklong independence referendum, as officials and observers noted high turnout and praised the mostly peaceful voting process.

Celebrations from southerners excited about the birth of their new nation are scheduled to begin soon.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Our World: Sudanese crossroads
S. Sudan celebrates as independence referendum starts

Results will start trickling in immediately after polls close Saturday evening, but there is little suspense. Almost everyone expects the south to vote overwhelmingly to break away from the north, cleaving one of Africa's larger nations in two to create the world's newest country.

Officials and observers reported high voter turnout.

Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, the chairman of the south's referendum commission, said 83 percent of those registered in the south and 53 percent of those registered in the north had cast their votes. He also cited a 91 percent turnout rate among Sudanese voters in eight other countries. Officials had said there were some 3.9 million registered voters.

Khalil said he believed the referendum would be judged as "a good result by any international standard," noting that the commission set up the vote in four months.



"We have come a long way, making long strides to reach the stage where we are today," said Khalil, a lawyer from northern Sudan who is 90 years old.

He echoed predictions that the south would choose to split from the north.

"All indications show that the south will lean toward separation," he said, adding, "I don't derive any pleasure from announcing the splitting of Sudan in two ... on the contrary, I would rather have hoped the country would remain united."

Sudan's ruling party in the north said Friday it was ready to accept southern independence. Border demarcation, oil rights and the status of the contested region of Abyei still have to be negotiated.

If the process stays on track, southern Sudan will become the world's newest country in July.


Related Content

Israel soccer
June 24, 2018
Israeli soccer fans harassed at World Cup in Moscow

By JTA