, KHARTOUM, May 21 – The president of the autonomous region of south Sudan was sworn in on Friday, after being declared winner last month in the country\’s first competitive elections in more than two decades.
Salva Kiir, the head of the former rebel Sudan People\’s Liberation Movement, was sworn in as the first elected president of south Sudan, in a ceremony in the southern capital Juba carried by state television.
Kiir was declared winner with 92.99 pecent of the votes, in an election that was marred by accusations of fraud and logistical problems.
The SPLM clinched nine of the 10 posts of governor in the south. It also took control of the vast majority of seats in the southern assembly.
Some 10 million Sudanese, including 2.8 million southerners, voted between April 11 and 15 in the country\’s first multi-party election in 24 years.
It was also the first competitive election for the south Sudanese presidency and assembly, institutions born out of a 2005 peace deal between north and south to end a brutal decades-long war.
The peace deal provides too for a referendum in January next year on whether southerners want to break away from the north or remain part of a united Sudan.