Ballot counting starts in Southern Kordofan

5 May 2011

Ballot counting starts in Southern Kordofan

5 May 2011 It was business as usual in Kadugli town this morning, as polling staff began to count ballots for the governor and state assembly elections.

Shops and restaurants were open and traffic was busy, with people seemingly going about their day-to-day duties normally.

On the outside, it appeared as though there was no activity at polling stations. Apart from a few policemen at each centre, no other people were observed at stations visited.

One had to go behind the striped tape that cordons off stations from areas around them to find polling staff in orange vests, quietly counting ballots.

Surrounded by equally quiet, but clearly alert party agents and observers, the staff counted ballots according to procedures in training guidebooks on hand.

"Once the polling stations have completed the counting in their centres, they will tabulate the results at the stations, before moving them to the Constituency Elections Officers (CEOs)," said Benjamin Osei-Bugyei, the UN Integrated Referendum and Elections Division (UNIRED) state advisor.

When CEOs have received all results and materials from centres in their constituencies, they will also do the tabulation for their constituencies, announce results there and take them to the next step, which is the State Elections High Committee.

"We expect that the high committee will have all the results in from all the constituencies and can also tabulate these for the entire state and announce a preliminary result from Kadugli on 8 May," Mr. Osei-Bugyei said.

UNIRED will continue to offer technical and logistic assistance. Both local and international observers are expected to monitor the process as they did during polling.