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.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of the Sudan.
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.