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South Sudan extends polling hours

11 January 2011, 12:59

Juba - Polling hours are be extended for the remaining five days of south Sudan's landmark independence referendum to cope with the huge crowds which have been turning out, organisers said on Tuesday.

"The voting time has been extended to 18:00 (15:00 GMT) each day," organising commission number two Chan Reec said.

The huge crowds of eager voters still queueing to cast their ballots at the end of the original 08:00 to 17:00 polling hours of the first two days of voting had left many polling stations struggling to cope.

In Lakes state west of Juba, governor Chol Tong Mayay acknowledged that some voters were having to repeat the long journey from their remote home villages for a second day after being turned away by polling station staff because huge queues remained at the end of normal polling hours.

"The only complaints were from those who left disappointed after waiting so long in the sun but who did not get to vote because the time ran out," Mayay said. "Many had to walk three or four hours each way to reach a centre."



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