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Polling stations in Darfur provided ballot samples only mentioning NCP

April 14 - 2010 KHARTOUM

(By Radio Dabanga)

The third voting day ended with numerous complaints about irregularities from all over the country. A member of the ruling NCP of President Omar Al Bashir was caught red-handed in El Geneina with a box containing ballot papers for the geographic constituencies and the presidential elections (see picture). The state prosecutor refused to file a case, since the head of the state election commission declined to provide him with a formal letter describing the irregularity. A political party is not allowed to handle ballot papers. 


Radio Dabanga reporters found in El Geneina also boxes with prepared ballots only containing the tree-symbol of the National Congress Party of President Omar Bashir distributed in West Darfur by NCP women’s groups (pictured below). In Ardamata camp in Geneina, boxes full of prepared sample votes were discovered. The polling stations are using the samples to explain how to vote.

At the same location near Ardamata and at several other places reporters and monitors have noticed a pattern of public transport buses chartered by the NCP bringing mainly women to the polling stations. Instead of being identified by the popular committees as required by the Election Law, the women are provided with IDs prepared by the NCP. Radio Dabanga received eye-witness reports from Bahri (North Khartoum), South Khartoum, Nyala and Zalingei and El Fasher. Some women were picked up from areas  for displaced people. Many political observers complained that despite not being allowed to be openly present in the direct vicinity of  the stations, the NCP has openly put up tents straight next to some polling stations. They provide the voters with an ID or an identification form.

Turnout disputed

In Khartoum North, the turnout on the third day was exceptionally low, according to Radio Dabanga journalists. Of the 42 stations verified by Radio Dabanga, only one station had more than estimated seven percent turnout at the third election day. Some of the polling stations refused to show the figures. The figures contradict a statement from the deputy chairman of the National Elections Committee, Abdulla Ahmed Abdulla, that voter turnout exceeded 67% in Northern State. He didn’t specify the states concerned. He said that voting is ‘progressing smoothly in Darfur and South Sudan’. Reporters and some monitors speaking to Radio Dabanga said hardly any long queues appeared at day two and three in Bahri despite the complex and time identification process. The NEC complained after the first day of voting that the voting was lagging behind due to the heat.

Boy able to vote

There have been some reports of children voting. The picture shows Radio Dabanga reporter Fatima Ghazali (left) with a boy whom she witnessed voting (right).

Irregularities in North Sudan

Ballots distributed in three constituencies in the Omdurman area listed the name of NCP candidate Mohamed Abd Allah Jah Alnaby, although he was only a candidate in constituency 8, according to Osman Hummaida of the African Center of Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS). Ballot boxes in a polling station in Jabra in Khartoum were stolen from the station in broad daylight, Radio Dabanga learnt on the first day of polling. The police were able to get back one of the boxes and they confiscated it. Also in Jabra, army officers were seen handing ballot boxes over the wall of the polling centre. The Democratic Unionist Party candidate, Wagie Alla Mohamed Alhaj, withdrew from the race because of this incident. Ballots were reportedly printed incorrectly for a constituency in Barbar. The symbols of the two candidates Ahmed Suliman and Abobakr – a bicycle and an ear of corn — were switched.

Ballots distributed in White Nile State were either printed with errors or were distributed in the wrong locations. At least three polling stations confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the ballots distributed on the first day listed the candidates from South Kordofan and the symbols of the parties were wrongly placed. Reportedly the cards were corrected and delivered to Kosti by plane at 4 PM at the second voting day. In half of Northern State, the secret numbers verifying the individuality of ballots were ripped from each separate ballot.

Ballots belonging to another constituency were delivered to six voting centers (Alsamier, Alshakha, Um Almoamenien, Allehedin, Alfalah, and Old Haljah Yousif School) in Khartoum North, constituency number 32, on the first day of voting. Ballots were printed incorrectly for Soba and Albgogaa Alula constituencies. The symbols of candidates were incorrect. In addition, political party representatives were not allowed to watch ballot boxes at the voting centres. Ballots were printed incorrectly for geographic constituency number 34 of Umbada in Omdurman. The symbol of the independent candidate did not appear.

Darfur

Ballot boxes were transported by airplane to Rockero, an area of Jebel Marra where military operations are still being carried out,  said the chairman of the DUP in Western Darfur state, Nouraddine Barakat. In El Geneina, a car without license plates carried away ten boxes of ballots without being accompanied by election officers or observers. Ballots were printed incorrectly for geographic constituency no. 2, southeast of El Fashir, centre 19. The independent candidate Dawod Ahmed Eltahir running in Altaahiel Altarbawi area reported that he could not find his name or symbol on the ballot paper. The NEC had suspended the voting, according to ACJPS.

Ballots were printed incorrectly for constituency number 3, in Wasat, Nyala. The symbol of the Popular Congress Party was missing from the ballot papers. Ballots were printed incorrectly for the 23rd polling center in El Daein, South Darfur. The symbol of state assembly candidate Mohamed Birsham Mohamed was changed from a rooster into a lorry.

Ballots were printed incorrectly for Malit constituency, east of the North Darfur capital at El Fasher. An independent candidate for national parliament, Muataz Mohammed Mahmoud expressed surprise that his symbol was changed from a horse to a tiger.

Ballots were printed incorrectly for Tawila constituency, North Darfur. Independent candidate for national parliament, Osman Attoum, complained that his symbol of a lock turned into a drum. In Nyala, independent candidate for the national assembly Zain El Abdeen Ahmed reported that his electoral symbol was changed from a lorry to a bell.


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