About The NEC
The purpose of an Election Commission
An Election Commission is an organization that is created to manage the conduct of elections and of direct democracy instruments such as referendums in accordance with the Constitution and laws.
• The National Elections Commission has nine members (“Commissioners”).
• The Commissioners are appointed by the President of the Republic, with the consent of the First Vice-President and approval of two thirds of the members of the National Assembly.
• The Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission are appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the First Vice President, from among the members of the Commission.
• These Commissioners will remain on the Commission for six years; the Presidency of the Republic can ask Commissioners to serve for six more years.
• The commissioners take an oath where they swear by Almighty God to perform their duties and responsibilities faithfully, impartially and independently without fear or favor to any body, and to observe the Constitution and the law.
Criteria for Commissioner’s eligibility
• Be a Sudanese
• Be independent, competent, non-partisan and impartial
• Be not less than thirty-five years of age
• Be of sound mind
• Be literate, preferably University degree holder at least, or who holds the status of a Court of Appeal Judge
• Have not been convicted in the previous seven years of a crime involving honesty or moral turpitude or contravention of the election conduct, even if s/he enjoys amnesty
• Not be a candidate in general elections, or agent of a candidate throughout her/his term of membership in the Commission
The NEC’s independence and transparency
• The NEC is financially, administratively, and technically independent, and must perform its functions and duties independently, impartially and transparently without interference from any body in its affairs, business or functions, or any limitation of its powers.
• The decisions of the Commission are taken by majority vote of the members present. If there is a tie vote, the Chairperson can break the tie as long as at least half the members are present.
• The Commission will have an independent budget to be prepared according to the relevant principles observed by the State and be subject to regular audits.
General NEC responsibilities
• The primarily responsibility of the NEC, as stated in the election law, is to “…ensure and guarantee the enjoyment by all citizens without discrimination the exercise of their political rights to nominate and freely express their will in secret ballot in every periodic elections or referendum to be conducted under the provisions of the Constitution and [the election law]”
• The NEC will establish rules and procedures to carry out its responsibilities; it will carry out a variety of other activities through its staff.
Specific NEC responsibilities - The Elections Law gives the NEC specific responsibilities:
• Elections: Regulation and supervision of the elections of the President of the Republic, President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Governors and the Legislative Assemblies
• Referendum: Regulation and supervision of any referendum, excluding the referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan, and the referendum on the status of Abyei (both of which are required by the CPA)
• Voters List: Prepare, revise, approve and keep the list of eligible voters
• Boundary Delimitation: Determine the geographical constituencies for the legislative assemblies
• Rules and Regulations: Issue the general rules of elections and referendum and take the necessary measures to carry them out
• Procedures: Establish procedures for the regulation of the candidates’ election campaigns, electoral symbols lists, and the accreditation of agents and observers,
• Recruit staff: Recruit staff for registration and polling
• Election Timing: Determine the arrangements and schedules for registration and polling, and ensure the measures for freedom, justice and secrecy
• Forms: Establish the forms and documents to be used in elections and referendum
• Nomination of candidates: Set the procedures for nominating candidates, for reviewing nominations, for the withdrawal of candidates, and for the publication of the final list of candidates
• Sorting and Counting: Control the sorting and count of the ballots and the arrangements of the final results, and declaration of the election or referendum results
• Postpone elections: Postpone any elections or referendum as a result of an eminent national danger and set new dates for voting
• Cancel results: Cancel the result of elections or referendum subject to a decision of the National Supreme Court
• Punishment: Take the necessary action against any person who violates the Elections Law, including election officials or workers who violate the law or any rules or regulations established by the NEC
• Political Party liaison: Establish and maintain contact and co-operation with political parties.