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Loser to challenge south Sudan presidential vote in court


The leader of a breakaway faction of Sudan's Southern  People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has accused his former comrades of rigging the presidential poll in the semi-autonomous south. SPLM Democratic Change chief, Lam Akol, says he will challenge the result in court.

According to the National Elections Commission (NEC), SPLM leader Salva Kiir, the incumbent president, took 93 per cent of the vote.

Akol, his only challenger, managed just seven per cent in the official count.

Along with the leaders of other southern Sudan opposition parties, Akol will ask the courts to declare the result null and void.

They will argue the NEC had no control of electoral operations in the south, where  international observers were absent from the majority of polling stations.

SPLM-DC leader Lam Akol 28/04/2010 - by Amanda Morrow Listen

The huge margin is proof the elections were manipulated, Akol claims.

"The tally of the vote from the polling centres were manipulated and changed at the state headquarters and the high percentage is a further evidence because you never hear of such figures when there is a real contest," he told RFI.

"You only have them in totalitarian regimes when you have only one candidate standing and then people say ‘yes’ or ‘no’," he says. "There will be many, many witnesses who will testify  to what we are saying."

According to official figures, some ten million Sudanese including 2.8 million in southern Sudan took part in the first multi-party election since 24 years.

The poll will be followed by a referendum in January on self-determination of South Sudan.