- Written/Submitted by Yohannes Kong Tut
- Category: Pachodo.org Latest English Articles
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When asked about ticket sellers, Mullana Gordon Buay Reath Said
“The South Sudan Referendum Act is very clear when it comes to issues like buying and selling of registration cards. It is a crime for a registered voter to sell a registration card that was intended for voting in the upcoming referendum. It is also a crime to buy a card from somebody with an intention to prevent the registered voter from voting.
The Jelaba who bought the card has an intention to fail the referendum because if so many people sell their cards, then, it would affect 60% turnout requirement stated in the South Sudan Referendum Act. That action is illigal and deserves full punishment.
Second, the person who sold the card has commited a crime because the card was not intended for selling but for exercising a right legally guaranteed. Both the seller and the buyer will be punished as stipulated in the referendum act. The punishment may range from seven to one year imprisonment depending on the decision of the court.
What is not yet clear to me is whether the referendum commission will force the person who attempted to sell the card to vote in January because if he doesn\'t vote, it would also affect 60% turnout vote. Or the South Sudan Referendum Commission should completely disqualify the guy and erase his name from voter registration book so that he will neither vote nor affect the 60% turnout requirement. It is stated in the act that if a registered voter fails to vote for whatever reason, that would affect 60% turnout vote.
But in a case of selling a registration card, the commission has to adopt a legal interpretation which would be reasonable by taking into account the rationale behind the 60% turnout requirement. In my opinion, what the commission should do, in addition to prosecution of the accused person who attempted to sell the card, is to cancel the name of that person from registration list so that when he fails to turn up in January because he is a condemned criminal, then, it wouldn't affect the 60% percent turn out vote.
The 60% turnout requirement was intended for people who have no intention to fail the process deliberately. In a case like this in which the registered voter has an evil intention, the commission should rely on rejection provision on the basis that the person is disqualified because of criminal intent. The act already stated that a person who is not sound in mind cannot register and vote. The commisson should also use analogous grounds analysis to conclude that the name of any person who attempts to sell a card will be removed from registration book of the upcoming referendum simply because the person in question has an evil intention which is contrary to the referendum act.
If people like that are not removed from registration book so that it would not affect 60% turnout vote, then, the idea of safeguarding the process is meaningless because somebody can register intentionally and sell a card afterwards despite legal consequences. In that case, the criminal is allowed to achieve his objective of failing the referendum if his name is not removed from the list of registration book so that it would not affect 60% turnout.
Therefore, the South Sudan referendum commission should automatically cancel the name of any person who attempts to sell the card from registration book. Since it is true that a person who is not sound in mind cannot be allowed to register and vote,it is also true that somebody who committed a crime by selling the card should be completely removed from registration book so that it doesn't affect 60% turnout vote. The requirement of 60% turnout of registered voters was predicated upon failure to vote for reasons other than deliberate evil action to deny the people of South Sudan the result of their choices. The people who legitimately register to vote in the upcoming referendum will feel cheated by those with evil intentions who register in order to sell the cards to fail the referendum. In that case, the referendum commission should automatically cancel the names of those convicted of crimes of selling cards from registration book because their failure to vote is based on evil intentions. Only the failure of legitimate registered voters who fail to show up for reasons other than deliberate evil intention to vote to fail the referendum should count to 60% turnout vote.”
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