Residents of Port Sudan’s Deim Arab district and supporters of independent candidates were dispersed by tear gas on Wednesday, when they attempted to prevent government forces to cast their vote.
They tried to bar a large group of policemen, prison guards, and security troops, from entering the district, on the grounds that they are not living in the district, and their names were not listed in the election records.
Sheba Dirar, Deputy Head of the Beja Congress, told Radio Dabanga that because of the extremely low voters’ turnout on the first two election days, “the Red Sea state authorities decided to transport all policemen, fire fighters, and prison guards in Port Sudan in vehicles to Deim Arab to cast their vote.
“In response, the people blocked the road to the polling centre to prevent the fraud. Yet, the forces cordoned off the streets, and used tear gas in order to reach the centre.”
Dirar said that independent candidate of the Deim Arab constituency Mohamed Mohamed Nur, nicknamed Hamadoya, and five others were taken into custody at the district’s prison.
He stressed that “we will not allow the forgery of the electoral process by the unlawful filling of empty ballot boxes, even if it leads to our death”.
The Beja Congress leader described the turnout in Port Sudan as very low. “Not more than 10 percent of the people cast their votes. In Deim Arab, 516 people visited the polling centre during the first two election days, while in the past about 2,000 people came to vote each day.”