Siraj al-Din Hamid, the Sudanese ambassador in the Netherlands, denied that fraud took place during Sudan’s recently completed election. He said that international monitors have called the election free and fair. In his interview with Radio Dabanga he claimed that the level of turnout among Darfuris was high compared to other states of Sudan, especially in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. He urged the Darfuri rebel movements to respect the results of the elections, arguing that the election reflects the will of 68% of voters – a reference to the percentage of votes purportedly cast for President Omar Al Bashir. He also asked the rebel movements to be more serious about solving the Darfur conflict.
Ambassador Hamid defended the election’s legitimacy against comments made by Luis Moreno Ocampo, the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, who in March said in Brussels that monitoring the upcoming election would be “like monitoring a Hitler election”. The ambassador said that the ICC prosecutor committed a big professional mistake with this remark, which will result in his dismissal from his position. He pointed to Article 46 of the Rome Statute, which allows the countries supporting the court to vote to remove the Prosecutor for “serious misconduct”. He called on all the state parties to the Rome Statute to issue a statement against the behaviour of Ocampo.
The ambassador’s SPLM counterpart, Francis Nazario, likewise spoke positively of the elections exercise. Nazario is principal liaison officer of the Government of Southern Sudan to the European Union. He stated on Saturday in The Hague that the elections went well. He affirmed that SPLM will form a coalition with the ruling party until the referendum for South Sudan’s independence in January 2011.
Darfur remained largely inaccessible for election observers during the April 11-15 nationwide election in Sudan. There were many reports of fraud, vote rigging, fake ballot box seals and other irregularities. The EU evacuated its observers citing safety concerns and the Carter Center acknowledged its staff “were unable to access wide areas of the region due to the security situation”. According to the Carter Center, “much of the population was left out of the process”, especially IDPs.