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Sudanese opposition welcomes Troika statement

April 22 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Women at an electoral rally of the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum, April 2015 (Reuters)
Women at an electoral rally of the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum, April 2015 (Reuters)

Members of the opposition and the civil society have welcomed the statement of the Sudan Troika members, saying that the general election last week does not reflect the will of the Sudanese people. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the statement, and summoned the US, UK, and Norwegian ambassadors on Tuesday.

NEC chairman Mukhtar El Asam announced on Tuesday that the voter turnout reached 42 percent. Rebel leader Yasir Arman claims that the poor voter registration forced the National Election Commission (NEC) to use the 2010 electoral register. 

Chairman of the Darfur Bar Association, Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, described the joint statement of the US, UK, and Norwegian governments as “honest, and faithfully reflecting reality.”

He told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese opposition, including the civil society, will not recognise the results of these elections, “because they were held in an unfavourable environment, marked by the absence of fundamental freedoms, continued detentions, a lack of press freedom, and ongoing wars in Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile, accompanied by many clear cases of fraud”.

The “Sudanese people have taught the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) a lesson by ignoring the election and refraining from casting their votes, despite all pressures and temptations, which has led to an unprecedented low turnout in the country”.

In a statement released on Monday, the Sudan Troika members expressed their “regret” over “the Government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive election environment”. They also condemned “the acts of violence during the election period”, citing restrictions on political rights and freedoms and “the lack of a credible national dialogue and the continuation of armed conflict in Sudan’s peripheries” as reasons for what they called a very low voter turnout.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the US, UK, and Norwegian ambassadors over the statement, calling it “a blatant intervention in the internal affairs of the country”. The Ministry also accused the Troika of deliberately ignoring to condemn violent acts carried out by the rebels during the election period.

‘Monopoly’

Dr Abdelrahim Abdallah Mohamed, senior member of the Democratic Unionist Movement, told Radio Dabanga that the Troika statement shows that the three countries are closely following the developments in Sudan. “The Troika has expressed its keenness on stability, and a peaceful transfer of power in the country.”

He stressed that the Sudanese government's insistence on holding the election, despite the opposition’s consent to engage in a national dialogue, “confirms the regime’s adherence to power, to protect the interests of its members.

“The presidential and parliamentary election of last week did not meet the known standards of a free and fair environment, as the NCP monopolised the electoral campaign for its candidates only, and deprived the rest of the candidates from the opportunity to advocate their programmes in the media.”

He noted that the daily number of voters at the polling stations did not exceed more than 20 people. “The voter turnout in reality did not exceed 20 percent.”

‘Voter turnout reaches 42 percent’

NEC chairman Mukhtar El Asam told Sudan News Agency (Suna) on Tuesday that the voter turnout figures have been revised upwards, from 38 percent to 42 percent. The new percentage excludes numbers from five Sudanese states which he did not identify.

El Asam expects the final figure to “exceed the world average”.

Voter registration was five percent’

In his statement on Monday, Yasir Arman, External Relations Officer of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance and Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, claimed that less than five percent of the people turned out at the voter registration.

According to the rebel leader, the low voter registration forced the NEC to use the registers of the 2010 general election instead, “which included the population of South Sudan, in the biggest scandal they will not be able to cover, while telling the public that they have updated the 2010 voter registration figures”. 

 


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