President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, the country’s longtime leader, was declared re-elected on Monday, winning 94 percent of the vote in balloting that was boycotted by opposition groups and marred by low turnout and public apathy. Mukhtar al-Asam, head of the Sudanese Elections Committee, said that 46 percent of eligible voters across the country had cast presidential ballots in four days of voting that began April 13, and that the turnout was lowest in the capital, Khartoum, and its surroundings, at just 34 percent. “The elections were useless,” said Mouyaser Hasan, 26, an engineer in Khartoum who said he did not vote.
The chairman of Sudan’s Independent Electoral Commission has defended the conduct of the country’s April 13 elections, saying the only way to have peace in Sudan is to have a constitutionally-elected government. Mukhtar al-Assam said those who criticized the election want Sudan to be in chaos like South Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq. The commission announced Monday that President Omar al-Bashir had been re-elected to another five-year term after winning more than 94 percent of the vote. Most of the major opposition parties boycotted the election. Assam said the turnout of 46 percent was better than last month’s general election in Nigeria, which was 42 percent.
The US, Britain and Norway on Monday blasted Sudan for failing to hold free and fair elections which alleged war criminal President Omar al-Bashir is widely expected to win. In a joint statement the three countries said they “regret the government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment.” They blamed low voter turnout on “restrictions on political rights and freedoms” as well as continued fighting in parts of the country.
Sudan on Wednesday extended nationwide elections by one day after a low turnout that the opposition said reflected apathy towards a vote President Omar al-Bashir is widely expected to win. The 71-year-old career soldier, indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, is seeking to extend his quarter-century rule virtually unopposed. He faces 15 little-known candidates for the presidency and a boycott by the mainstream opposition in the country of nearly 38 million people, the world’s third most populous Arab state. Since voting began on Monday, the elections for the presidency as well as the national and state parliaments have seen a poor turnout.
Voting ended Thursday in Sudan’s elections, with a low turnout despite a one-day extension. “Vote for who, vote for what?” said Ihab Shareef, 40, a former civil servant who now drives a taxi. “It would have been better if the elections money was spent on hospitals.” President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for more than 25 years, is expected to win amid widespread apathy and a call for a boycott by opposition groups. Final results are to be announced April 27. Fifteen other largely unknown candidates ran for president. Forty-four parties officially participated in the elections, which began Monday, for seats in the National Assembly and local legislatures.
Two independent candidates withdrew from Sudan’s presidential election on Wednesday, citing irregularities in the polling process after the election commission extended voting by a day. Most of the main opposition parties had already boycotted the election, which started on Monday and had been due to end on Wednesday, saying they had been denied the opportunity to compete fairly against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in power since 1989. With little effective opposition, Bashir appears certain to be re-elected. A parliamentary election is also being held.
Amid widespread public apathy and calls for a boycott from opposition groups, polling stations in Sudan opened on Monday for an election that many believe is guaranteed to give President Omar Hassan al-Bashir another five years in office. “It’s a comedy,” said Abdulhafeez Abdullah, 35, a law school graduate. “The president is certainly going to win.” Mr. Abdullah has a big poster of Mr. Bashir in the back window of his minibus, but he said he was not going to vote. “The poster just helps with traffic police,” he said.
Sudanese voters headed to the polls in sparse numbers on Monday at the start of a three-day election boycotted by the main opposition parties, with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on course to extend his quarter century in power. The presidential and parliamentary elections are the first since Sudan saw its south secede in 2011, losing a third of its land and nearly all of its oil production. Bashir has cast himself as a guarantor of stability as his security forces tackle insurgencies in the western territory of Darfur and along the border with South Sudan. He has warned against a change in government while the wider region is embroiled in violence from Libya to Yemen. His campaign speeches have also addressed improving the economy, in which inflation and unemployment remain high.
Sudanese begin voting on Monday in an election boycotted by the main opposition parties which looks set to extend President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s more than 25 years in power. The presidential and parliamentary polls, held on April 13-15, are the first since Sudan split with the south in 2011, losing a third of its land and nearly all of its oil production. Polls open at 8am local time (0500 GMT) and 13 million people are eligible to vote, according to the National Election Commission. Initial results are expected in the days after the polls shut. The boycotting parties say a clampdown on the opposition, media and civil society has created an impossible environment to run against Bashir, who has ruled the country since a 1989 Islamist and army-backed coup.
The EU said Thursday that next week’s Sudan elections, widely expected to see President Omar al-Bashir extend his 25-year rule, cannot produce a “credible” result. Bashir faces 15 little-known challengers while the main opposition parties are boycotting the vote in an impoverished country riven by deep political, religious and tribal divisions. EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said Bashir’s failure to establish a genuine national dialogue, which he announced early last year, was a real setback and effectively undercut the polls.
Sudan has closed its border with South Sudan as part of security measures before the presidential elections scheduled to begin on April 13. The new measures have been put in place in the nine Sudanese states that share border with South Sudan including the five Darfur states, West Kordofan, South Kordofan, White Nile and Blue Nile states. The police have confirmed that more than 70,000 troops will be deployed all over the country to ensure a secure voting process on Monday. The East Darfur government reportedly closed all crossings on the border to secure the elections.
A Sudanese presidential candidate on Tuesday staged a sit-in in Khartoum to protest what he describes as “bias” on the part of the country’s official electoral commission. Hamdi Hassan Ahmed, who is running as an independent in presidential polls slated for April 13, accused the commission – and state media – of harboring bias for certain candidates during the campaigning period. “The electoral commission and the state-run media are very biased,” Ahmed told The Anadolu Agency. “They support the ruling party candidate and don’t allow us to express our views.”
Sudan: Electoral body rejects complaints over NCP’s use of state resources for presidential campaign | Sudan Tribune
The National Election Commission (NEC) in Sudan has brushed aside complaints by independent presidential candidates on the use of aircraft and cars by senior officials from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the electoral campaign of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir. The electoral body explained to representatives of those disgruntled candidates that these activities are in line with NCP resources at their disposal and vehemently denied being biased in favor of certain candidates.
Sudan will use the electronic voting system for the first time in its electoral history in next April’s elections, the country’s poll commission announced late on Wednesday. The chairman of the National Election Commission (NEC) Dr. Mukhtar Alasam confirmed in a press conference in Khartoum that the electronic voting system will be operated in the cities and urban centres around the country. Last month Namibia became the first country in Africa to hold e-poll, using an electronic device to verify the data of potential voters on an e-voters’ roll. Once potential voters were cleared to vote, they proceeded to a booth and pressed a button on another electronic machine displaying the colours and insignias of the parties taking part in the elections.
Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) denied Tuesday calling for early elections in the country and reiterated that it is sticking to maintaining the president of the republic and the parliament until the end of the term of their mandate in 2015. The NCP was reacting to statements made by presidential advisor and former Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail who stated last week that his party is willing to hold new elections if opposition parties accepted the proposal. The Sudanese opposition have already rejected the idea saying basic rights and freedoms should be restored before such elections, saying that the purpose of the early poll would be to reinstall the NCP for more five years and renew its legitimacy.