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.
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.