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Sudanese opposition forces reject results before they are announced

April 19 - 2010 KHARTOUM

The Sudanese opposition parties are positioning themselves ahead of the coming announcement of the results of the nationwide election. The opposition parties have adopted a common position to reject the election as completely illegitimate. Results are supposed to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday).

Two opposition parties that did not boycott the election, the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), now question its legitimacy. Hatem Al Sir, presidential candidate of the DUP, described the election as unfair. In a statement to the press he said that the election does not represent the will of the Sudanese people. He called for thorough investigation of reports of frauds, abuses and mistakes in the electoral process. He wants those responsible to be held accountable, starting with the National Elections Commission. The DUP candidate for governor in West Darfur, Asad Rahman Bahreldin, complained of a number of abuses that have accompanied the process of counting votes in West Darfur.

Hassan Al Turabi, leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), described the elections as fraudulent and announced that his party would not participate in the legislative institutions even if it has won seats. He accused the Sudanese security of expelling party agents from polling stations and switching ballot boxes in many areas. The PCP candidate for governor of South Darfur, Dr. Haj Adam Yousef, completely rejected the results. He complained that fraud in some areas brought the National Congress Party many votes, especially after the banning of observers and party agents from polling centers. They were thus unable to track ballot boxes in areas of South Darfur, especially Al Milam Adila, Kass, Shataya, Damso, Sargela, Al Nadeef, and Deto. The national presidential candidate of the PCP, Abdullah Deng Nhial, held a meeting with Yasser Arman (SPLM) and other opposition leaders who are part of the Juba Coalition – a group of Northern opposition parties that met in February in South Sudan’s capital. A spokesman for the loose opposition coalition, Farouk Abu Issa, remarked that the meeting resulted in a common position to reject the election results. He called the election “false from A to Z”. The opposition leaders also harshly criticized the report of the Carter Center, which described the election as a ‘milestone’ in the implementation of the 2005 North-South peace agreement.

Armed rebel movements have likewise rejected the election. Abdel Wahid Al Nur, chairman of the Sudan Liberation Movement, said that the rigged election calls for a united response from the opposition political forces to form a transitional government tasked with stopping what he calls genocide in Darfur, providing security, extending fundamental freedoms, disarming the Janjaweed, and implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The ruling National Congress Party is maneuvering to attract some recognition of the elections. Last week a senior party official, Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani, made an offer to form a coalition government. Now instead the ruling party takes the position that it will not cooperate with parties that boycotted. Dr. Amin Hassan Omar, Minister of State at the Ministry of Culture and Information, said that any talk of forming a national government was premature. He told Radio Dabanga that an all-inclusive government is not on the table. But he suggested that new elections in the country could be held after the referendum on self-determination of the South in January 2011.

(Reuters Photo – Hassan Al Turabi on 1 Apr. 2010)


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