Sudan summons EU envoy over election remarks

The Foreign Ministry of Sudan summons the EU’s representative over the critical remarks that were made about the political environment ahead of the election.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it had summoned the European Union's representative in Khartoum over critical remarks by the EU about the country's political environment ahead of election next week.

President Omar Hassan Al Bashir looks set to extend his 25 years in power after presidential and parliamentary elections on April 13-15, which leading opposition parties are boycotting.

European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Thursday there was no "conducive environment" for the polls. "The people of Sudan deserve better. We therefore chose not to engage in support of these elections," the statement said.

It said Sudan had failed to hold a genuine national dialogue to ease conflicts and enable an inclusive political process.

Sudan summoned the head of the EU office in Khartoum on Friday to complain about Mogherini's remarks, which the ministry said were "deliberate distortion", spokesman Ali El Sadig told Reuters.

He did not name the envoy, but the EU website lists Tomas Ulicny as the ambassador there. EU officials were not immediately available for comment.

Al Bashir, who is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes by the International Criminal Court, had previously signaled he would step down this year, but his National Congress Party chose him as its candidate in October, all but assuring his success against a fractured and weakened opposition.

Also the members of the Sudan Troika (Norway, the UK, and the USA) expressed their “great disappointment” this week about the Sudanese government’s rejection of an invitation by the African Union to attend a preparatory National Dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa, before holding the general election.