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Fraud charges on final day of Darfur election

April 15 - 2010 EL FASHER

On the final day of voting in Darfur, election officials are accused of having yesterday filled ballots fraudulently and moved polling stations without informing observers. The Popular Congress Party in West Darfur yesterday accused election officials of extensive fraud in Kereinek constituency five, Abu Rameel polling center. The officials filled out the ballots themselves even though the center was completely empty of voters, said the leader of the PCP in West Darfur and its candidate for assembly from Kulbus constituency, Seifeldin Osman. He added that the location of another polling station was moved from the town and set up in an area an hour and a half east of it. This was done without the knowledge of political party observers and candidates, he told Radio Dabanga.

A similar incident was reported by the independent candidate for the state legislative assembly, Mohamed Abakr Hamadin, who said that a number of polling stations in South Zalingei area were relocated to other places. When citizens went to vote yesterday they did not find the polling sites, he told Radio Dabanga.

Also in the Kulbus area, the National Elections Commission in West Darfur decided to halt the polling in some state constituencies within the national constituency formed by Sirba and Kulbus localities. Earlier one of the candidates had told Radio Dabanga that the NEC started polling in these areas only on the second day. Purportedly due to security reasons, six centers including Abu Joga, Byot Arbaa, Goz Borat and Sarfai were closed and brought to the city of Kulbus.

Political party monitors in the city of Kabkabiya in North Darfur reported that large numbers of unregistered people were brought to vote in the elections by the National Congress Party as the police prevented the political agents from staying within the centers at night to guard the ballot boxes. One of the party agents told Radio Daganga that the NCP is still registering voters, adding names and pushing people to vote.

Yesterday twenty people were injured, some seriously, in a road accident that occurred yesterday near Shakra in North Darfur. The car belonged to the National Congress Party and it was transporting people from a village to Shakra to vote. Witnesses said the car collided with a lorry coming from the opposite direction. The injured were transported to El Fasher hospital to receive treatment.

Abdullah Abdel Rahman Takis, an independent candidate for national parliament in Abu Karinka constituency, South Darfur, claimed that his rival Hamdan Abdullah Teerab offered bribes to a member of his campaign team in exchange for the destruction and burning of campaign items stored in the city of Omdurman.

In Atbara locality, employee of the electoral commission was arrested after 9 ballot boxes full of cards were found at his home, including 7 for the Executive contests.

Today is the last day of voting and tomorrow counting will begin. A civil society alliance in Khartoum described the election as a failure that does not reflect the will of the Sudanese people. A huge amount of money was spent on these elections, they noted. The alliance added that the elected representatives will have no authority adding that the NEC is a failure and they must be taken to court. Likewise, a citizen from El Daien said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the election is not fair and not free and does not reflect the opinion of Darfuris.

None of the Darfur rebel movements have attempted to violently disrupt the election. However, the Sudan Liberation Front, a newly announced rebel group purportedly operating in South Kordofan, announced today that it is responsible for an attack Wednesday on the villages Hegleig, Diffra and Damboliya. They said that their aim was to disrupt the election stations in those locations. A spokesman of the Sudanese army denied that such an attack took place. Abdullah Shuaa Eldin, spokesman of the Front, claimed that their forces destroyed all of those election centers. The group is led by Jumma Alwakeel Hamad.

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