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April 2010 - Posts

JUBA: general reaction to the results of Sudan’s 2010 elections

April 26, 2010 (JUBA) – Residents in Juba, the capital of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan, have expressed mixed reactions to the outcome of the recently conducted presidential, gubernatorial and parliamentary elections in Sudan.

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Southern Sudanese military and police forces patrol following the announcements of elections results in Juba, southern Sudan, Monday, April 26, 2010. (AP)

Following the official Monday’s announcement of winners in the presidential and gubernatorial elections, Sudan Tribune sought comments from across the spectrum. These included random general reactions from officials as well as ordinary citizens in the streets from different political parties.

In the results of the national presidential race, incumbent President Omer Hassan el-Bashir got 68.2% votes of the more than six million Sudanese who cast their vote during the five days of polling. He defeated other eleven presidential candidates, some of whom boycotted the elections before polling day.

In the South, the incumbent President of the region, Salva Kiir Mayardit, got 93% of the more than two million votes counted, defeating his only rival, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, who got only 7%.

In the gubernatorial elections in the ten states of Southern Sudan, nine were won by the SPLM candidates and only one was won by an independent candidate, Joseph Bakosoro of Western Equatoria state.

Commenting after the announcement was made, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, wife of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, and currently the Presidential Advisor on Gender and Human Rights in the Government of Southern Sudan, said she was expecting more than 93% from the presidential result. She however was quick to add that the winning percentage was also satisfactory.

Generally, people’s reactions to Salva Kiir’s overwhelming winning percentage were harmonious despite their different political parties’ backgrounds. About 95% of the people who gave their comments to Sudan Tribune said they voted for the SPLM candidate, Salva Kiir despite the fact that about 40% of them were from different Southern Sudan political parties.

When asked why they voted overwhelmingly for Kiir and not for his challenger, Dr. Lam Akol, the respondents gave a variety of reasons. These ranged from seeing SPLM as CPA partner and therefore the torch holder towards the referendum in 2011.

They also pointed to the SPLM’s perceived direct connection with the SPLA forces for the defense of the referendum in case of any eventuality, hence citing the importance of SPLM candidate winning the presidency and continuing to command the SPLA forces for smooth relations between the two and harmonious response to any situation of that kind.

The respondents also cited unity of the people of Southern Sudan as paramount, saying voting for Kiir and his running mate and Vice President designate, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, also means voting for the unity of the people of Southern Sudan and its collective leadership under the SPLM as the flag bearer party.

One respondent who said was member of a non-SPLM party but voted for Salva Kiir summed it up by saying “voting for SPLM Presidential candidate meant voting for CPA; it meant voting for self-determination; and it also meant voting for a capable defense of the referendum.”

A good percentage of them however indicated that if the elections were to be conducted after the referendum, some of their immediate priorities that guided their choices during the recent presidential elections would change.

They further explained that they may focus on particular personalities that are development-oriented in addition to some other necessary merits instead of the current generalized support behind a party.

STATES HIGH ELECTIONS COMMITTEE VS PEOPLE’S VOTES

When it came to the gubernatorial elections in the states, most of the respondents had a complete different view from how they perceived presidential elections at the level of the Government of Southern Sudan.

The general view was that unlike the presidential elections, personality of candidates and their developmental programs mattered to them irrespective of political parties such candidates had come from.

They touched with condemnation on the reported irregularities and vote rigging in the states. To them the ruling party, the SPLM, should have left the states elections free and fair so that gubernatorial and parliamentary elections would have reflected the true choices of the people even before the referendum.

Some of them cited the defeat of the former SPLM officials, turned independents, as a case in point. To them many independent gubernatorial candidates are popular and would have won governorship positions in many states if votes meant for them were not rigged.

Officials of States High Elections Committees, who were supposed to be neutral in the electoral process, were as well criticized for allegedly succumbing to intimidations by the ruling SPLM officials through their security operatives, or bowing down to material gains.

They alleged that the situation resulted to rigging or inflating of votes, in favor of incumbent SPLM candidates during entry of results into computer data system, before submitting the results to the National Elections Commission (NEC) headquarters in Khartoum.

ICC judges reject appeal on charges against Darfur rebel leader

April 26, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled last Friday that the prosecution has failed to provide grounds that warrant an appeal against a decision made last February to decline the confirmation of charges against a Darfur rebel leader.

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Darfur rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda (Reuters)

Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, leader of Darfur United Resistance Front (URF), was accused by the prosecution of playing a role in the deadly assault that left 12 soldiers from the African Union (AU) peacekeepers dead and wounded eight others.

Most of the soldiers, from Botswana, Gambia, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal, were "executed" — shot at close range, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Abu Garda was the first individual to appear before The Hague based court in connection with the Darfur case. The rebel chief agreed to surrender himself voluntarily last year to face the charges saying he is confident of his innocence.

Last February the Pre-Trial Chamber I handed down a decision saying that there is not sufficient evidence to send Abu Garda to trial or that he could be held criminally responsible.

Per the ICC Statute there are three stages a suspect goes through which starts with issuance of an arrest warrant/summons to appear, confirmation of charges and finally the trial. At each step a higher threshold of evidentiary proof is applied.

The prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested permission by the chamber to appeal on three legal grounds saying the judges erred in applying the standard for reviewing his evidence against Abu Garda.

But judges rejected the challenge saying that the "arguments raised by the prosecution in its application for leave to appeal do not meet the requirements for an appeal,".

"The Chamber is thus of the view that the alleged issue amounts to a mere disagreement with the findings of the Chamber, stemming from the exercise of its discretionary powers to freely assess the evidence submitted by the Prosecution for the purposes of the confirmation hearing. Such disagreement does not amount to an issue under article 82(l)(d) of the Statute".

Today’s decision "does not preclude the prosecution from subsequently requesting the confirmation of the charges against Abu Garda if such request is supported by additional evidence," the Hague based court said.

This is the first time the in the history of the court that the prosecution fails to move a case past the confirmation of charges hearings on at least one of the counts contained in a summons to appear or an arrest warrant.

The Sudanese government dismissed as a “theatrical play” Abu Garda’s appearance saying it was orchestrated by the ICC prosecutor to show his impartiality and pressure Sudan into cooperating with the court.

The ICC has to date issued three arrest warrants over the Darfur conflict — including one in March 2009 for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who rejects the court’s jurisdiction.

The ICC is the world’s only independent, permanent court with the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

UN experts say 300,000 have died and 2.7 million been driven from their homes since rebels took up arms against Sudan’s government in 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting the region’s development. But Khartoum says 10,000 have died

Al-Bashir Addresses Sudanese Nation after his Elections as the President of the Republic

Khartoum, April 26 (SUNA) - The elected President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Thursday gave an address to the Sudanese people, following announcement of the National Elections Commission to the result of the elections for the presidency of the republic, congratulating on the conclusion of the general elections, in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

 

He described the election process as characterized by seriousness, freedom and the commitment to the practicing of the constitutional rights

 

He said that the recent elections were not marred by violence, clashes or confrontations, stressing that the success of these elections was a victory for all the Sudanese people

 

President Al-Bashir asserted his commitment to practice is powers and responsibilities as the president of all the Sudanese nation

 

Al-Bashir expressed his gratitude to the national commission for his election and its chairman Field Marshal Abdul-Rahman Suwaral-Dahab for their extensive efforts

 

He also lauded the role done by the National Elections Commission, and its chairman Abil Alier, for their patience, persistence, well preparations and efforts to implement one of the most important pillars of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and to hold the large and expensive elections, despite the technical and logistic challenges that faced it, emphasizing that the National Elections Commission has done its task with a honesty which was a source of honour all the Sudanese people

 

President Al-Bashir thanked the international community for its donation to material, in kind and administrative support for accomplishment of the historic elections in Sudan which was monitored closely by international and national observers, appreciating the support extended by all the organizations and Sudan fiends world-wide

 

President Al-Bashir said that the international media have conducted intensive coverage of the elections in Sudan and was able to be informed about aspects of the election process and to be a witness of its smoothness and lacking to any aspect of violence or undermining of social peace

 

He reiterated his commitment to live up to his responsibilities to lead the country with wisdom and to protect its stability and entity

 

He said that the recent elections provided a good opportunity to all the Sudanese people with their different parties and orientations to express their views and to choose and offer their confidence to their candidates

 

President Al-Bashir congratulated the people of the National Congress who surpassed on of the biggest examinations by winning most of the election constituencies at all levels and obtained the confidence of the majority of the people of Sudan

 

He also congratulated all the national political forces who contributed to bolstering the democratic progress in the country. He pointed out that the National Congress will maintain contacts, dialogue and consultations with all forces for establishing a national partnership toward confronting the challenges

 

President Al-Bashir affirmed the keenness for holding the referendum on the future of south Sudan in the fixed time, as stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as well as completing realization of peace in Darfur

Bashir, Kiir officially win Sudan’s presidential elections

April 26, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) presidential candidate was declared winner with a 68.2% of the vote, the state electoral commission said on Monday.

The SPLM candidate Yasir Arman came second with 21.7%.

In the South SPLM chairman Salva Kiir got 93% of the votes. His challenger Lam Akol 7%.

President Omar al-Bashir declared winner of Sudan poll
President Omar al-Bashir
President Bashir denies committing war crimes in Darfur

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has been declared the winner of this month's landmark elections, despite facing war crimes charges over Darfur.

Former rebel leader Salva Kiir has been confirmed in power in the semi-autonomous south in the first polls since the north-south war ended.

The polls were one of the world's most complex ever and Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years.

Observers and opposition parties have complained of fraud in north and south.

Sudan's election commission said Mr Bashir had received 68% of the vote.

It also said Mr Kiir, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), had received 93% of the southern vote.

The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says President Bashir's re-election could be interpreted as a popular rebuke for the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant against him for war crimes in Darfur.

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Sudan's leader strongly denies the charges.

His two main challengers withdrew before the elections began, claiming that the process had already been rigged.

Our correspondent says these accusations and withdrawals have dented the credibility of the elections.

The EU and the Carter Centre said the polls were below international standards.

But former US President Jimmy Carter said he believed the international community would recognise the winners all the same.

Mr Bashir and his National Congress Party were already well ahead in the results already announced from the 11-15 April elections.

As well as the national and southern presidential contests, elections were also held for the national, regional and state parliaments and state governors.

Tension was raised over the weekend, with reports of clashes along the north-south border.

Some 55 people were said to have been killed in clashes between an Arab community and southern soldiers.

The weekend violence was the most serious since the polls.

The clashes reportedly began over grazing rights for cattle - a common source of conflict in the area.

But southern government officials say their soldiers were attacked by members of the northern army - charges denied in Khartoum.

The SPLM joined a national coalition government after a 2005 peace deal but relations remain tricky between the supposed partners.

A referendum is due in 2011 on whether the south, where most people are Christian or follow traditional religions, should secede from the Arab-dominated mostly-Muslim north.

Mr Bashir has said he would respect the outcome of the referendum but some fear conflict could resume, especially in the oil-rich border region.

US says Sudan elections ’not fair and free’, shifts focus to 2011 referendum

April, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The United States said today that the elections held in Sudan’s over the last week were "neither free nor fair" and suggested that it has now shifted its focus on the 2011 referendum for the South in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the North and the South.

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Osman Al-MirghaniThe Sudanese people had five days to vote for their president as well as legislative and local representatives in the country’s first multi-party election since 1986 which ended on Thursday.

Several heavyweight opposition groups boycotted the elections and even those who participated announced later they will not recognize its results alleging fraud and vote rigging.

International election observers from the Carter Center and the European Union (EU) said last weekend that the polls had failed to reach international standards but that nonetheless they should be recognized.

Early results from the election, suggest President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) are headed for a landslide victory. Bashir is seeking reelection to gain legitimacy in face of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant issued for him on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

"This was not a free and fair election," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. "It did not, broadly speaking, meet international standards."

"That said, I think we recognize that the election is a very important step" toward carrying out a 2005 peace deal that gave the south autonomy, a share of oil revenues and a route to independence via referendum by January 2011, he told reporters.

Crowley said many of those elected in the Sudanese poll, however flawed it may have been, would play important roles in whether "we have a credible referenda process that, quite honestly, is likely to yield the emergence of a new country."

His comment was an allusion to the widely held expectation that southern Sudan will choose to secede from the north.

"So while we understand that there were flaws and failures in terms of this electoral process, we will recognize that there is a lot of work to be done," he said. "The United States will continue to work with the government in the north, the government in the south, as we move forward with ... the vitally important referenda that’ll happen in January of next year."

Crowley’s mark offered a more downbeat assessment of the elections than the US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration who hailed the electoral commission and expressed confidence that the polls would be held in a fair and free manner.

Gration met this afternoon with US president Obama at the White House for the first time since his return from Sudan. The White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs has told reporters that a statement would be released on the meeting.

In a separate statement, the United States, Britain and Norway said Sudan’s elections were marred by poor preparation and other suspected irregularities and they called on Sudanese officials to take to fully implement the 2005 peace accord.

"We note initial assessments of the electoral process from independent observers, including the judgment that the elections failed to meet international standards," the three countries, guarantors of the peace deal, said in a statement.

"We are reassured that voting passed reasonably peacefully, reportedly with significant participation, but share their serious concerns about weak logistical and technical preparations and reported irregularities in many parts of Sudan," the statement said.

The three countries noted the limited access of observer missions in Darfur and voiced regret that electoral officials did not do more to address such problems before the voting.

"It is essential to build upon the progress made so far to expand democratic space in Sudan," the statement said, adding that Sudanese officials should "draw lessons" to ensure future polls and a referendum due next year on independence for South Sudan do not suffer from the same flaws.

NEC suspends electoral process in Unity state’s Parieng as Angelina leads

April 20, 2010 (JUBA) – The electoral body overseeing the conduct of the Sudan’s general elections has issued a decision to partially suspend the electoral process in one of Unity state’s nine counties following some serious irregularities in some of its constituencies.

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Angelina Teny

The National Elections Commission (NEC) on Monday afternoon announced the decision to exclude a number of areas in Parieng County from the ongoing process for executive and parliamentary elections, pending investigations into such irregularities.

Earlier, a number of candidates contesting for the gubernatorial position in the state, led by Angelina Teny, and other parties’ agents filed a petition to the electoral body, accusing the county officials of blocking their agents from participating in the monitoring of the polling and during the sorting and counting of votes at the polling stations.

According to an official source close to NEC, it was also discovered that the county’s electoral staff illegally continued with polling for extra two days.

He said the illegal process continued even after the polling was officially closed on Thursday last week, making the county’s polling days seven in number.

As a result, the process was detected to have involved massive fraud in the county which was seen as the last battle ground for the two main rivals, incumbent governor Taban Deng Gai and independent candidate, Angelina Teny.

The State High Elections Committee has received the overall results from the rest of the eight counties, showing Teny leading the gubernatorial race by a wide margin.

The county officials were also suspected of manipulating the process in favor of the incumbent state governor, though the votes from the least populated Parieng, estimated to have less than 10,000 registered voters, would not narrow the wide gap as results from the other eight counties revealed that Teny was ahead of Gai by more than 24,000 votes cast.

NEC’s decision for partial suspension of the electoral process in the area was publicly announced over radio Omdurman at 3PM on Monday after communicating the decision to its branch office in Southern Sudan.

The official further added that the next move would be for all parties’ agents to participate in verification of figures on Tuesday during which results from the eight counties would be entered into computer system before submitting them to NEC office for official announcement.

After completion of the verification of the figures, the candidates or their agents would then sign for the final results as an approval for official declaration.

Angelina Teny, the wife of Southern Sudan’s Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has also been the state minister of Energy and Mining in the Khartoum-based Government of National Unity for the last five years.

Disowned by her party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) after declaring her independent candidature, Teny in her manifesto explained that she was responding to “public outcry for a new leader in the state…and to save the office from falling into the hands of a different political party as the popularity of the current governor severely dwindled throughout the state.”

Educated in Great Britain after completing her secondary school in Khartoum, the 40+ years old gubernatorial contestant criticized the current state administration for failure to provide development services to the people for the last five years despite the presence of resources, which she described as “astonishing experience to every citizen of Unity state.”

Five candidates including Teny are contesting for the position of governor in the Sudan’s oil-rich state.

Russia says Sudan elections fair by ’African standards’

April 19, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The elections that were concluded in Sudan last week should be judged by African standards and not European ones, a senior Russian official said.

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Russian special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov

The Russian special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov said that only technical flaws occurred at the polls but did not impact the integrity of the process as a whole and criticized Western monitors over their assessments made over the weekend.

"In particular, voting papers were delivered late to polling stations. And polling stations themselves did not open on time. The names of some candidates on the lists were distorted or had the wrong symbols," Margelov told Interfax news agency.

"This country is just emerging from a state of war. Moreover, it seems European experts shouldn’t be applying their observations to the whole country - there is information that for security reasons they did not go to Darfur," he added.

Margelov also said that the opinion of the EU’s observers to the effect that the elections "did not meet the key requirements of the electoral process" were too categorical.

Margelov said the elections in Sudan should be judged by African and not European standards.

International election observers from the Carter Center and the European Union (EU) said that the polls had failed to reach international standards but that nonetheless they should be recognized. The EU monitors withdrew from Darfur over security concerns days before the elections were due to start.

Several heavyweight opposition groups boycotted the elections and even those who participated announced later they will not recognize its results alleging fraud and vote rigging further undermining its credibility.

But the Russian official stressed that the reported irregularities did not give enough grounds for casting doubt on the validity of the elections in Sudan.

"One should remember that these elections were held in a country where the traces of Bin Laden’s activities are still warm. And without doubt these elections have been a school of democracy for the Sudanese," he said.

Russia sent observers to monitor the elections saying it is interested in the elections process “because its success would be a success for democracy in Africa and the Arab world”. Moscow has recently been expressing interest in Sudan’s affairs particularly in areas of trade and investments. It is currently one of the main exporters of weapons to Sudan along with China.

Dr. Al-Jailani Affirms Stability of Humanitarian Situation in Darfur States

Khartoum, April 20 (SUNA)- The State Minister at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Abdul-Bagi Al-Jailani, has affirmed the stability of the security situation in the three states of Darfur, a matter that facilitated holding of the elections

 

Interviewed by SUNA Tuesday, Dr. Al-Jailani said that he and the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, George Sharp Peter, lately paid a six-day visit to Darfur region to get initially informed about the humanitarian situation there, explaining that they observed the stability of the humanitarian situation and prevalence of water, health, food and shelter services. He referred to the large scale voluntary return of displaced citizens to their home areas

 

Dr. Al-Jailani said that an agreement was reached on concentration on capacity building, enhancement of the sites of old villages and providing them with services toward boosting the voluntary repatriation process

 

He said that the coming stage necessitates participation of the national organization and establishment of twinship with the international humanitarian organizations

 

Dr. Al-Jailani appreciated the contribution of the Arab, Islamic and friendly countries to the stability of the humanitarian situation in Darfur as well as establishment of voluntary repatriation villages, services and development projects

Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir Elected as Wali (governor) of Khartoum State

Khartoum, April 20 (SUNA) - The National Elections Commission announced that the candidate of the National Congress for the position of the Wali (governor) of Khartoum State, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir, has won the biggest number of votes for the position, which were 1,147,602

 

The results of the other candidates for the positions were: 52,858 votes for Adam Al-Tahir Hamdoun, 31,368 votes for Ahmed Saad Omer of the Democratic Unionist Party, 16,621 votes for Edward Lino of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), 12,651 votes for the independent candidate Abdul-Rahim Omer Mohi-Eddin, 9,231 votes for the independent candidate Badr-Eddin Taha Ibrahim, 6,324 votes for Abu-Garja Mohamed Kenani of the National Umma Party, 6,218 votes for Nuha Ahmed Al-Nagar of the Umma Party for Reform and Modernization, 5,364 votes for the independent candidate Osman Ibrahim Al-Taweel, 4,762 votes for the independaent candidate Abdoun Mohamed Abdoun, 4,093 votes for the candidate of the National Justice Party Amin Banani, 3903 votes for the independent candidate Abbashar Mohamed Hasssan Ragay, 33613 votes for the candidate of the Justice Party Ali Abu-Selaib Ali, 3233 votes for the candidate of the Democratic Unionist Party Mohamed Yagoub Ishag Shaddad, 2418 votes for the candidate of the National Justice Party Yahia Zakariya Abu-Ahmed, 2292 votes for the independent candidate Abu-Bakr Hamad Abdul-Rahim, and 2262 votes for the independent candidate Abu-Obeida Abdul-Rahim Al-Khalifa

Al-Bashir Wins Biggest Number of Votes in Eastern and Western Al-Thawra Constituencies

Khartoum, April 20 (SUNA)- The candidate of the National Congress for the position of the president of the republic, Omer Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, has won the biggest number of the votes, 39,178 out of 43,520 votes, at the constituency of eastern Al-Thawra, Khartoum State

 

Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir, the candidate of the National Congress for the position of the Wali (governor) of Khartoum State, also won the biggest number of votes at the same constituency

 

At the constituency (13) western Al-Thawra, the candidate of the National Congress Omer Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir won the biggest number of votes for the position of the president of the republic, 26,368 out of 29862

Sudan’s NCP accuses opposition of seeking to topple post-election government

April 16, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) today accused opposition parties of planning a revolution against the upcoming government seeking to overthrow it.

"[The opposition groups] are not going to recognize the outcome of the elections and they are going to go to the streets and try to change the regime ... through conflict, riots," Sudan presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie told reporters at a briefing.

"They are giving examples of what happened in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria as if they want to convince public opinion that this is possible, but they will discover that it was merely a mirage" he added.

Several heavyweight Northern opposition parties such as the Umma Party and Sudan Communist Party (SCP) boycotted the elections claiming it cannot be held in a fair and free manner. They accused the NCP of using fraud and utilizing state resources to win the polls.

The Northern sector of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) has also boycotted all elections in the North for the same reason dealing severe credibility blow to the country’s first multi-party general elections since 1986.

The NCP leader and incumbent president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir is hoping to enforce his legitimacy to face the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him.

Nafie quoted from what he said were opposition statements promising to mount protests, reject the newly elected administration and replace it with a "government of national unity".

"If you have any explanation for this other than chaos and trying to change the regime through popular revolution ... I don’t have any other explanation," he said.

The SPLM deputy presidential candidate Yasir Arman ,who withdrew days before the elections, has vowed to stage peaceful demonstrations in several states to protest the conduct of the elections.

The UMMA Reform and Renewal Party (URRP) leader Mubarak al-Fadil dismissed the plot accusation, saying he had assured a government delegation that he had no plans to launch protests and called for a national dialogue to address the crisis in the country.

Nafie’s remarks mark a more aggressive tone than that of his peer Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani who said yesterday that the NCP would like opposition to join the government ranks even those who boycotted.

"We are facing important decisions like self-determination in the south and would like to garner as much support and as much consensus as we can" Al-Attabani added.

But his offer was met by a cool reception from most opposition parties though the Umma Party did not rule it out.

Nafie qualified Al-Attabani’s remarks saying these parties must recognize the results for them to take advantage of this offer saying otherwise it would be "illogical".

Newspaper reports in Khartoum suggested that Bashir intends to replace figures which has been part of the government for 20+ years including Vice president Ali Osman Taha who may be removed in favor of a Darfuri figure such as Al-Tigani Al-Sissi who was recently appointed as head of the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).

Al-Bashir Wins 830 Votes in Eastern Gezira Locality

Khartoum, April 16 (SUNA)- The candidate of the National Congress for the position of the president of the republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, has won 830 votes out of 1098 representing the total votes at the center (10) of Eastern Gezira Locality

 

He was followed by Hatim Al-Sir of the democratic Unionist Party 18 votes, Abdalla Deng Niyal of the Popular Congress 15 votes, Saddiq Al-Mahdi of the National Umma Party two votes, Yasser Arman of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) three votes, the independent candidate Dr. Kamel Idris two votes, Munir Sheikh-Eddin of the Sudanese party, one vote, Ibrahim Nugud of the Communist Party one vote

 

The candidate of the National Congress for the position of the Wali (governor) of Gezira State, Prof. Al-Zubair Bashir Taha, won 793 votes, followed by the candidate of the Revolutionary Committees, Mahmoud Abidin 13 votes, and the candidate of the SPLM Mohamed Yousif Ahmed Al-Mustafa three votes

Sudan national group for human rights says small mistakes that accompanied the election process have not affect the process or its fairness

Khartoum, April 16 (SUNA)- The Sudanese national group for human rights has issued its report on the election process saying the 2010 elections are a milestone in the political history of the country as they are the inlet for democratic transformation and peaceful exchange of power. It pointed out that those elections come at critical time in the international and regional arena and under complex local stipulations that need cohesion and strong stand so that the elections will come out and the country would be much more stronger in face of the challenges

 

The group which comprise over 200 local observers trained to carry out their duty in monitoring the elections after receiving training by international trainers have been able to spread all over the country with a focus on Khartoum state

 

The group said although the Sudan has undergone this experience after a quarter of a century of absence still some of the technical errors that occurred at the beginning of the process have not affected its over all fairness nor its integrity

 

The group commended the role played by the local and international observers who have contributed in monitoring the errors and drawing attention to them so that they were overcome by the National Election Commission

International Institution for Democracy in Africa: Elections in Sudan Held in Atmosphere Tranquility and Mutual Respect

Khartoum, April 16 (SUNA) - The International Institution for Democracy and Peace in Africa pointed out that the election process was held in Sudan in an atmosphere of security, tranquility, refrain from violence and mutual respect between the contesters

 

At a press conference it held Friday at Coral Hotel in Khartoum, the institution called on all the candidates to accept and respect the result of the elections. In a report, the institution affirmed the importance of training in the field of elections and education of the people in this regard

 

The institution has contributed to the monitoring of the elections at different voting centers and constituencies in Khartoum State throughout the elections five days

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