Two political figures and observers were beaten by members of Sudan's ruling party in polling stations for the Darfur referendum today. Fellow party members reported rigging in other stations, too.
The chairman and the secretary-general of the National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP, headed by Dr El Tijani Sese) in East Darfur were beaten with sticks by members of the National Congress Party (NCP). The incident took place in a polling centre in Ed Daein, in El Guba neighbourhood, chairman Osman Musabal Kashim reported to Radio Dabanga.
“The ruling party members beat secretary-general Rabia Mohamed Musa and me when we discovered that they were rigging the voting. Six voters showed false carts,” Kashim said.
Kashim sustained a wound on the head (photo) Musa was also beaten when they addressed the act, and she sustained an injury on the head. The NCP members took both NLJP officials from the Um El Numeinin polling centre to the police station, were they were held in custody.
“They have expelled the monitors of the NLJP from Um El Numeinin polling station,” Kashim added.
In West Darfur, secretary-general of the NLJP Moatasim Arbat also claimed that NCP members rigged the voting in Tendelti.
“They took a ballot box from the votes of one area, opened it, and disposed of the ballots. They filled it with other ballots which I suspect are in favour of the five states,” Arbat told Radio Dabanga today.
He said that the referendum monitors of his party have withdrawn in protest of the fraud.
The NLJP has threatened to withdraw all its monitors from other polling stations as well, if the ruling party continues to manipulate the voting. The referendum runs until Wednesday, in which voters can choose between the unification of the five Darfur states and one regional government or to remain with the separated states, ultimately dissolving the Darfur Regional Authority.
El Tijani Sese formed the National Liberation and Justice Movement (NLJM) and registered the NLJP in February 2015, after he was ousted as chairman of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in the beginning of 2015.
Four gunmen in military uniforms seized a Toyota vehicle in Galab, south of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, on Tuesday at 8 am. A witness reported that they took the driver and four members of the Darfur Referendum Commission, and fled to northern Galab.
The witness was unable to give more information about the abduction on Tuesday evening.