Final day of voting in Southern Sudan's independence referendum
A small handful of voters cast ballots today, the final day of Southern Sudan's weeklong independence referendum.
Celebrations from southerners excited about the birth of their new nation are scheduled to begin soon.
Former US President Jimmy Carter said in Khartoum, Sudan's northern capital, that the process has been orderly in both the north and south, and estimated about 90 per cent turnout in the south.
Results will start trickling in immediately after polls close this 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.
Sudan's ruling party in the north said yesterday 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.
Celebrations are planned in the south. The weeklong vote was mostly peaceful, but there were scattered attacks the previous weekend. Polling stations in Juba were jammed last weekend, but slowed to a trickle in later days.
Officials have said that more than 60 per cent of the 3.9 million registered voters have cast ballots. That was the threshold for the vote to be valid. The proposal needs only a simple majority to pass.
Individual polling stations will begin posting their results tomorrow. Official results will be released early February.
Carter has been in Sudan this week to monitor the historic independence vote and to meet with top officials. His foundation, the Carter Center, has been involved in health programs and democracy building in Sudan for more than two decades.
"We have observed a very orderly process in both the north and south, adequate enthusiasm in the north and tremendous enthusiasm and excitement in the south, heavy turnouts, probably averaging almost 90 per cent turnout in the south and about 50 per cent in the north," he said.
Carter also said he expected the Khartoum-based government to honor the poll's results.
"I think (northerners) will recognize the results immediately," he said. "When the official statement is made of the results of the referendum, my conviction is that the north, including (President Omar al-Bashir), would accept the results."
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Ebola virus in the US: What are the symptoms, what is it and is there a cure?
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
- < Previous
- Next >
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced SEN Teacher n...