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.
The European Union has criticized the Sudanese government for holding elections during the country’s current violent conflicts and political unrest.
“The failure to initiate a genuine national dialogue one year after it was announced by the government of Sudan is a setback for the welfare of the people of Sudan,” Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said in a statement last week.
“When dialogue is bypassed, some groups are excluded and civil and political rights are infringed,” Ms. Mogherini said. “The upcoming elections cannot produce a credible result with legitimacy throughout the country.”