Elections in Sudan are not up to par with International monitors’ standards
by Hani Kaddah
Sudan’s first multi-party elections in 24 years were held last week did not meet international standards, according to observers.
The Carter Center and the European Union (EU) concluded that the elections were flawed. Both organizations had teams monitor the election’s progression in Sudan.
Veronique de Keysr, who was responsible of a 130 member team, informed the Associate Press that many candidates running for presidency names were missing in ballots, polls were not spread evenly throughout the country and there were many cases of intimidation.
The last elections held in Sudan were in 1986 and ended a devastating war between the north and south.
Outside observers were not the only one to criticize the elections. Local observers and opposition parties also disapprove of the election process as being undemocratic and heavily favoring Omar Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party.
Omar Al-Bashir came into power in 1989 following a coup and has since been the only President of Sudan. Many strongly believe that he tampered with the polls in order to be assured victory.
The two major opposition, The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), pulled out of the race and called for a halt for the election claiming the election rigged in favor of Omar Al-Bashir.
Tbe SLM Chairman Abdul Wahid Nur said to the Sudan Tribune that the United States has given fake legitimacy to a country that is still struggling internally and who’s own leader is violating human rights.
In fact, how are elections being carried out when at the very same time a humanitarian crisis is taking place in the country? Abdul Wahid Nur assures the Sudan Tribune that Darfurians were not allowed to vote, thus are not represented in this democratic election.
Omar Al-Bashir is up for a ‘legitimate’ democratic win after indictment by the international criminal court for crimes against humanity in the region of Darfur. Omar Al-Bashir is hoping to improve his image by showing the world that his people support him.
However, President Bashir might be denied his credibility that he craves so much, by a number of opposition parties who have boycotted the elections and his victory.
Incidentally, the EU team has withdrawn from Darfur because of fears of their personnel safety due to a small-scale civil war.