13 November 2010 – A ceremony hosted by the Upper Nile State Referendum High Committee set the stage today for the beginning of voter registration on 15 November for the long-awaited Southern Sudan referendum.
“Voter registration is considered as an important milestone of the referendum process. Therefore, all citizens have to participate effectively and peacefully,” said the referendum high committee’s chairperson, Bol Puot Yout, in the presence of State Governor Simon Kun Puoch, Malakal County Commissioner Shouki Aboch Ajang, other government officials and area residents.
The launch ceremony, supported by UNMIS, the UN Development Programme and the UN International Organization for Migration, included a series of brief skits performed by members of the Malakal County Referendum Sub-Committee.
A skit simulating the actual process of registering to vote featured Governor Puoch in the role of the first eligible citizen seeking to register himself.
Another skit focussed on a voter from North Sudan who lost his temper when referendum sub-committee members refused to register him, thereby showing the assembled gathering how such disputes should be properly handled
Civic education activity throughout Upper Nile State began on 7 November, said state referendum high committee member James Daniel Chuang, adding that the campaign had included public service announcements on radio and television, the distribution of posters and stickers and the convening of civic education workshops.
Mr. Chuang, the referendum high committee member responsible for public outreach, said everything was ready for registration to open early on the morning of Monday, 15 November. “We hope the turnout is going to be high,” he said.