The Carter Center Notes Concerns With Security in South Kordofan, Progress in Polling Preparations

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The Carter Center is concerned by recent deteriorations in South Kordofan's security environment and calls on all sides to promote a genuine and credible polling process for the state. Although the recently concluded candidate nomination period was largely conducted transparently, efficiently, and peacefully, there have been worrying developments during the campaign period. In particular, The Carter Center is concerned about the armed conflict that broke out in El Faid and reportedly resulted in dozens of casualties. Continuing tensions between rival candidates in certain areas could negatively affect voter turnout, impact the results, and therefore reduce the credibility of the electoral process.

With the conclusion of the campaign period fast approaching, it is critical that the Government of Sudan, Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), state authorities, political parties, and other stakeholders work together to diminish tensions in South Kordofan refrain from negative campaign rhetoric, and promote peaceful participation in the electoral process. To this end, the Center also encourages the GoSS to release gubernatorial candidate Telefon Kuku to campaign in accordance with his political rights prescribed under the National Elections Act or announce formal charges that justify his continued detention. Despite flaws noted in regard to candidate nominations and campaigns, there remains an important window before the start of polling for all sides to commit to ensuring a genuine, credible election that reflects the will of the people of South Kordofan.

The Center commends the National Elections Commission and State High Election Committee on progress with electoral preparations and the institution of improved complaints measures. The Center appeals to all political contestants to raise concerns or complaints regarding the process to the election authorities so that they may be dealt with in accordance with the law.