57. An application for nomination to the membership of any of the Legislative Assemblies shall be regarded as invalid if the person is not eligible to be a candidate for election as a member of the Legislative Assembly to which he seeks nomination and has not met the criteria laid down in section 53 (1), paragraphs (a) to (e) inclusive, or any of the other requirements laid down in this Act.
Inspection of Nomination Application for Membership of the Legislative Assemblies
58. The Commission shall inspect the applications for nominations for election to the Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the procedures laid down in section 45 of this Act. If an application is not made in accordance with this Act in full, then the Commission shall reject the application giving its reasons and shall inform the relevant independent candidate or political party.
Appeals Against the Decision of the Commission to reject the Nomination Applications
59. (1) A candidate or a political party may appeal against the decision of the Commission to reject or accept a nomination to the Competent Court.
(2) Any appeal under sub-section (1) shall be made within seven days from the date of publication of the Commission’s decision to reject or accept a nomination.
(3) The Competent Court shall decide on any appeal submitted thereto according to sub-section (2) within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of the appeal and make public its decision. The Competent Court may for this purpose issue any order in any related matter pending before it in this respect. The decision of the Competent Court shall be final.
Publication of the Final List of Candidates for the Membership of the Legislative Assemblies
60. (1) The Commission shall publish in the official gazette and/or in the mass media the final list of candidates for Geographical Constituencies and Party Lists and Women Lists for Election to any of the Legislative Assemblies immediately after all appeals to the Competent Court have been decided upon.
(2) The Commission shall ensure that the published final list of candidates under sub-section (1) is disseminated widely in each state by whatever means it deems appropriate.
(3) The Commission shall at the same time and date declare and publish in the Official Gazette and/or other available means of publications the period for electoral campaigns, which shall be for a period of no more than fifty days and no less than thirty (30) days and shall end one day prior to polling day.
(4) The Commission shall at the same time and date declare and publish in the official gazette and/or the mass media the times and date of polling for Elections to a Legislative Assembly and shall ensure that this information is disseminated widely across the Republic of Sudan, Southern Sudan and the States concerned where the election is held, provided that the date of polling shall not exceed sixty days from the end of the nominations process.
Withdrawal of Nominations for Election to a Legislative Assembly
61. (1) Any duly nominated candidate in a Geographical Constituency may withdraw his nomination no later than thirty (30) days prior to polling day.
(2) Where a person decides to withdraw under sub-section (1), he or she must inform the Commission by a written notice signed by the candidate personally and legally authenticated.
(3) Any Political Party that submitted an application for nomination of a Party List or a Women List and such nomination has been accepted as correct, may withdraw that list no later than thirty (30) days prior to polling day.
(4) Where any candidate on a Party List or Women List for election to a Legislative Assembly nominated by a political party dies or withdraws at any time prior to the close of polling, the political party shall inform the Commission of the name of the candidate to replace him or her on the list, provided that the so named candidate must be eligible and meets the requirements in accordance with the provisions of this Act. A candidate that withdraws shall inform the Commission and the political party of their withdrawal by a written notice signed by her/him personally and legally authenticated.
(5) Any candidate or political party that withdraw their nomination thirty days prior to polling day shall be refunded the financial deposit made at the time of nomination.
(6) Candidates and political parties may not withdraw their nomination after the end of the period provided for in this section. The names of all candidates and Lists duly nominated and accepted who have not withdrawn during that period shall be included on the ballot card and any vote cast for any of them on polling day shall be deemed valid.
Death of a Candidate for Membership of any of the Legislative Assemblies in a Geographical Constituency
62. (1) If any candidate in a geographical constituency who is on the final list of candidates dies before the close of polling, the Commission shall postpone the polling in that constituency and appoint a new date for nominations.
(2) Where new nominations are to be held under sub-section (1) the remaining candidates’ previous applications for nomination shall continue in force.
(3) Where new dates for nomination are appointed under sub-section (1) the Commission shall appoint a new date for polling within sixty days of the last day set for the new nominations.
Declaration of Elected Unopposed Candidate for Election to the Legislative Assemblies in the Geographical Constituencies
63. Where a candidate at the time of close of nominations is the sole candidate nominated and duly accepted by the Commission to contest a geographical constituency, or is the sole candidate following the withdrawal of all other candidates, the Commission shall declare that candidate unopposed within forty eight hours from the close of the period for nominations.
Electoral Campaign, Polling, Postponement of Elections and Referendum and Announcement of Results
Electoral Campaign Programme
64. (1) The Commission, shall announce at the same time and date in the Official Gazette and/or the available mass media, the period during which electoral campaigns shall take place in accordance with this Act, provided that such period shall not be more than seventy days and not less than thirty days, as the case may be, and shall end one day prior to polling day.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Commission shall determine the period and the manner of the electoral campaign and make public that information widely. The Commission shall forward copies thereof to each of the Higher Committees in accordance with the Rules.
(3) Campaign activities shall not be held within the last twenty four hours before polling date, or during polling day or days according to the Rules.
Rights and Duties of Candidates and Political Parties During the Electoral Campaign
65. (1) During the electoral campaign period, every public officer or public authority shall provide equal treatment to all candidates and political parties, in an impartial manner and without favour to any of them, in order to guarantee the principle of equal opportunities between them.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any other law, every candidate or political party shall enjoy complete and unrestricted freedom of expression and presentation of campaign programmes, and access to information in the exercise of their campaigning rights through any means in accordance with this Act and the Rules.
(3) No Person shall, while campaigning for election, use any expressions that constitute incitement to public disorder, insurrection or violence, or threaten with the resort to any such actions or to war, or that constitute incitement to hatred and discrimination.
Regulations for the Electoral Campaign
66. (1) A candidate or political party in an election shall be afforded access to and use of all means of communication media of all forms for the purposes of their electoral campaign activities.
(2) The Rules shall specify the measures to guarantee the rights of all candidates and political parties participating in an election in the use of public media on the basis of equality and equal opportunities, and to prevent any kind of discrimination between them in the coverage of the electoral campaign news.
(3) The Commission shall, together with the public media means and in consultation with all political parties participating in the elections, prepare a comprehensive programme to guarantee the equal use of such means by all parties for the purposes of their electoral campaign.
(4) Subject to any other law, during the campaign period all candidates and political parties may, either alone or jointly with others, publish campaign materials in the form of booklets, pamphlets, leaflets, magazines, newspapers, or in any other form, provided that such publications shall specify the particulars to identify the candidate or candidates concerned and shall include the name and address of the publisher of such material.
(5) Candidates and political parties may use all electronic media for their campaign activities, including audio visual, internet, e-mail and any other similar means, provided that they shall not use these means to hinder or obstruct other candidates’ campaigns.
(6) Candidates or political parties may not act or use statements that are intended to obstruct the electoral campaigns of other candidates or political parties.
Funding of Electoral Campaigns and its Sources
67. (1) Candidates and political parties shall not finance their election campaign activities from any financial and material support, donations or other means of support from foreign countries or any foreign body.
(2) Candidates and political parties may finance their election campaign activities from the following sources:
(a) financial support provided by the members of the political party,
(b) financial contributions made by the candidates,
(c) financial support that may be provided by the National Government, the Government of Southern Sudan, or the States Governments to all political parties and candidates on equal basis,
(d) donations and contributions that the political parties and individual candidate may collect from other Sudanese sources approved by the Commission.
(3) The Commission shall fix a ceiling for expenditure by the political parties and individual candidates on their electoral campaign activities, taking into account:- (a) the geographical size of the area to be contested by the political parties
and candidates and any geographic impediments on movement in that area,
(b) the ease of access to communities in the area and available transport and communication systems,
(c) the number and distribution of the population in the area, and
(d) any other reasonable circumstances that may affect the costs of the electoral campaign,
Use of Electoral Campaigns’ Funds
68. Funds collected for electoral campaign shall be used for the following fields, namely to:
(a) develop the means and technical capabilities that enable the political party or the individual candidate to prepare and disseminate their electoral campaign programs,
(b) cover the expenses incurred relating to the collection of the signatures of voters to endorse their nomination as provided for under this Act,
(c) design, produce and publish campaign materials, such as notices, posters, booklets and other materials, and their dissemination in any manner, including through electronic, written and audiovisual media means.
(d) pay the gratuities and salaries of the persons employed by the political or the individual candidate to carry out electoral campaign activities,
(e) pay the rent of headquarters and offices used for the electoral campaign purposes,
(f) payment for stationery, fuel, vehicle and transport means rent, and media coverage costs for the electoral campaign purposes,
(g) any other reasonable expenses necessary for the implementation of electoral campaign activities.
Prohibition of the Use of State Resources for Electoral Campaign
69. No candidate or political party contesting an election may use free of charge any State resources or any public material or human resources, except the public media, provided that any charge levied shall be proportionate to the services rendered and shall be applied to all political parties and candidates equally and without discrimination.
Final Accounts of the Electoral Campaign
70. (1) Each candidate or political party shall submit to the Commission final accounts of their electoral campaigns’ incomes and expenditures, within a period not exceeding thirty days from the official declaration of the final results of the elections or referendum.
(2) The final accounts to be submitted under sub-section (1) shall be detailed, and shall specify all funds and resources collected utilized, and used in the electoral campaign, and its sources and the methods of expenditure, provided that such accounts shall be legally audited according to professional auditing practices.
Polling and its Procedures Distribution of Elections Materials
71. Within forty eight hours before polling day, every Returning elections officer shall furnish the High Committee in the State with:-
(a) sufficient number of ballot cards equal to the number of the registered voters in all the polling centres in the State plus ten percent as reserve;
(b) a statement showing the number of ballot cards supplied under paragraph
(a) with the serial numbers indicated in the statement, and
(c) any other necessary materials for conducting the polling, including ballot boxes, secret polling booths, forms required for polling and counting, indelible ink, and stationery .
Publication of the List of Polling Stations, Candidates and Lists
72. (1) The Commission shall announce, at the same date and time, in the Officinal Gazette and/or other available mass media the date and time of polling for the election of the office of the President of the Republic, President of Government of Southern Sudan and the Governor.
(2) The Commission shall disseminate all the information about the candidates and the date and time of polling across the Sudan and abroad for the election of the President of the Republic, and across Southern Sudan for election of the President of Government of Southern Sudan, and across the state for election of the Governor.
(3) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Commission shall publish, before polling day, a notice in the appropriate possible media or any other reasonable means including:-
(a) the list of polling centres in each of the geographical constituencies,
(b) the names of the candidates nominated for election in each geographical constituency, in the same order as they appear on the ballot papers, which is based on the order of submission of the nomination applications.
(c) The party lists and Women lists for the purposes of proportional representation.
(4) The Commission shall provide copies of each list mentioned to in sub-section (3) to all election officers, who shall ensure that the lists are published widely in their geographical constituencies and in all the polling centres therein.
Polling Centre and Voting Time
73. (1) Every polling centre shall, satisfy the following conditions namely to:-
(a) be located in an open ground, or otherwise in large premises that voters can have access to, and leave easily,
(b) be located in a place to facilitate access by persons with special needs and the elderly to exercise their right of voting.
(2) At every polling centre, polling shall commence at the time and date specified by the Commission and shall continue without interruption till the closing time.
(3) If at the official time of closing the poll provided for in sub-section (2) there are voters queuing at the polling centre, who are qualified to vote and have not been able to do so, the polling centre shall be kept open to enable them to vote, provided that this measure shall only apply to those voters who are present at the polling centre at the closing time, and that no other voters who arrive at the polling centre after that time shall be allowed to vote.
(4) The polling time shall not be extended except under the provisions of sub-section
(3), save by permission of the Commission in accordance with the rules.
74.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission shall lay down the necessary rules for the conduct of polling and the details of its procedures, provided that polling for any election or referendum shall take place in one day only except where the Commission decides to extend such period for substantive reasons, and in a manner that guarantees the free and secret vote for all voters.
(2) The rules mentioned under sub-section (1) shall detail all procedures relating to the opening and closing of polling, the verification of the fact that ballot boxes are empty from any papers before the start of polling, polling protocols, the rights and duties of observers and agents, polling procedures for the illiterate and those with special needs, the cases of error in filling the ballot paper, and any other necessary procedures.
(3) The confirmed candidates, agents, observers and representatives of the mass media, shall have the right to enter the polling centre and stay therein at any time during the polling process as shall be specified by the Rules.
(4) The persons mentioned in sub-section (3) shall not interfere with the functions of the polling officials or speak to any voter during her/his presence at the centre to vote.
(5) The Chief of the polling committee shall have the right to order the expulsion of any of the persons in sub-section (3) whenever he or she contravenes the provisions of this Act or commits any act that hinders the polling process.
Interruption and Postponement of Polling
75. Where polling at any of the polling centres is interrupted by riot or violence or any other occurrences that may obstruct the conduct of the poll, the Chief of the polling centre shall adjourn the polling in that centre to be completed at any other time during the same day or the
next day, provided that she/he must inform the election officer of the geographical constituency and receive the necessary directions from her/him.
Sorting and Counting of Votes and Declaration of Results
Sorting and Counting of the Votes at the Polling Station
76.(1) Votes shall be sorted and counted at the polling centre immediately after the Chief of the polling centre declares the polling closed.
(2) The process of sorting and counting the votes shall continue uninterrupted until the end of such process that shall not be stopped or postponed overnight before all votes in all ballot boxes have been sorted and counted. The election officer shall provide the necessary lighting and other requirements to ensure the completion of the votes’ sorting and counting without interruption.
(3) The confirmed candidates, agents, observers and representatives of the mass media shall have the right to attend all the processes of vote sorting and counting in the centre until its end, without interference in the functions of the sorting and counting officers or try to influence them as shall be detailed by the Rules.
(4) The Chief of the polling centre shall have the right to order the expulsion of any person whenever she or he contravenes the provisions of this Act or the Rules or commit any act that hinders the sorting and counting process.
(5) The ballot boxes for a referendum shall be sorted first whenever the referendum is conducted simultaneously with any other elections. When more than one election process are conducted at the same day the sorting and counting of the ballot boxes for the different elections shall be made in the following sequential order, as the case may be:-
(a) the President of the republic,
(b) the National Assembly,
(c) the President of Government of Southern Sudan,
(d) the Legislative Assembly of Southern Sudan,
(e) the Governors,
(6) Ballot boxes one after the other and empty their contents onto the counting table, and shall sort out and count the votes in the manner detailed in the rules, assisted by the members of the polling committee.
(7) The Chief of the polling committee shall prepare a report on the sorting and counting of each ballot box, to be signed by her/him personally and whoever is willing to do so from the candidates or their agents present, provided that such report shall include the following details:
(a) the name and number of the geographical constituency,
(b) the name and number of the polling centre,
(c) the number of registered voters in that polling centre, the number of voters who voted, the number of those who did not vote, the number of received ballot papers, the number of used and unused ballot papers, and the number of spoilt ballot papers,
(d) The total number of valid and invalid votes, the total number of valid votes cast for each candidate, political party or list, and the number of blank votes.
(8) Votes cast for each candidate, political party or list shall be recorded in figures and words, and this shall be signed by the Chief of the polling committee and whoever is willing to sign from the candidates or their agents present before the declaration of the result. The rules shall specify the procedures to submit and record any complaint during the counting of votes and declaration of results.
(9) The Chief of the polling committee shall declare the results at the polling centre before informing the Chief of the polling centre of those results, provided that a copy of the sorting and counting report shall be published at the polling centre, while the other copies thereof shall be sent to the elections officer in the geographical constituency.
77. (1) A vote shall be invalid and shall not be counted for any of the candidates or political parties if: –
(a) the ballot paper was torn or spoilt in any manner;
(b) the voter has marked the ballot paper in such a manner that her/his choice cannot be reasonably and clearly determined,
(2) A ballot card shall not be invalid as long as the voter’s choice can be reasonably ascertained without any doubt.
Declaration of the Sorting and Counting Results
78.(1) The Chief of the polling committee shall, immediately after the completion of the sorting and counting of votes cast in every ballot box or after the completion of the recount of votes, declare the results of the sorting and counting, and display a copy of the sorting and counting report at a conspicuous place in the polling centre.
(2) The Chief of the polling committee shall, personally and immediately after the completion of the tasks provided for under sub-section (1), submit the following documents to the Chief of the polling centre:
(a) copies of the sorting and counting report as shall be detailed by the rules,
(b) a report on the conduct of polling and sorting in her/his committee,
(c) all the forms used in the sorting and counting of votes and aggregation of results,
(d) the forms of the declaration of the sorting and counting results,
(e) all used and unused ballot papers, and all polling and sorting and counting materials as shall be detailed by the rules.
(3) The agent of a candidate or a political party may, before the polling committee declares the results, request from the Chief of the polling committee to implement a recount of the votes or a new aggregation of the results, and the Chief of the polling committee shall do so if:
(a) the difference in the number of votes between a candidate and another or any list and another is less than five percent,
(b) the total number of valid and invalid and blank votes cast is not equal to the number of the voters who have actually voted, or if there are any other differences in any other totals on the sorting and counting report according to the rules,
(c) the Chief of the polling committee has reasons to believe that the sorting and aggregation of votes have been interfered with, or that there was a mistake in the declaration of the results of sorting or counting, or that some ballot cards have been accounted for mistakably because they were misplaced into a different ballot box from the one that they should belong to.
(4) The agent whose request for aggregation or sorting or counting of the results is not accepted by the Chief of the polling committee shall have the right to submit
a written objection to the Chief of the polling committee, who shall attach such objection to the sorting and counting report and the other documents to be submitted to the Chief of the polling centre.
Aggregation and Declaration of Results