April 12, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The withdrawn candidate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) denounced the poor conditions of the general elections in Sudan saying his boycott served to maintain social peace in the country.
Sudan’s general elections, which are part of the 2005 peace pact, were designed to achieve democratic transition and to encourage southerners to vote for unity in a referendum scheduled for January 2011, another benchmark of the deal.
The opposition parties and the SPLM accused the dominant National Congress Party (NCP) of committing irregularities and slammed the poor preparation as well as the conduct of elections while the seven year conflict in Darfur remains unresolved.
Two of the main political forces in Sudan, SPLM and Umma party, boycott the presidential elections and the legislative and states voting the north. As like the other opposition parties, they slammed the integrity and independence of the National Election Commission (NEC) and the position of the American administration which is seen favorable to the NCP.
"What we are witnessing today bypassed the worst expectations on the running of the electoral process in the country," Yasir Arman told Sudan Tribune today. He added that electoral fraud practiced by the NCP is now quiet clear, leaving no room for doubt
Arman said if he participated in the presidential race there would be clashes now between the security forces massed in Khartoum streets and the angry crowd.
"The boycott has served to main social peace," he emphasized.
He added the security troops mobilized in the capital are more in number than the voters.
In similar remarks the head of opposition National Consensus Forces, FarouK Abu Eissa, on Monday echoed Arman statements saying if "we were participating in this election we would reject the security measures as result of our rejection of these violations," he said, adding the withdrawal has spared violence in the country.
Sudanese police said they have deployed 100,000 elements to secure the electoral process all over the country. Some twenty thousand are in Khartoum. Also the NCP figures and media organs warned that any attempt to protest or disturb the elections will be severely repressed.
Yasir Arman also said he fears that the NCP chairman now would work to fraud the southern Sudan referendum on self determination in January 2011. During the electoral campaign, President Omer Al-Bashir said that 30% of southerners are favorable for separation and other 30% are for a united state while 40% not decided, according to a survey he asked to conduct.
The former SLPM runner for Sudan presidency said such statements demonstrate Bashir’s intention to rig the referendum results.
Arman also regretted the position of the former US President Jimmy Carter who showed his support to the elections despite the irregularities and delays that a report of his center had spotted since last March.
"It is unfortunate that there are major figures, such as President Carter, contributing to cover these scandalous fraud and chaos of the National Election Commission," he said.
The Sudanese opposition officials in press conference held Monday also slammed the support of US President special envoy Scott Gration and the former President Carter to the electoral process despite the irregularities. They accused them of working to divide the country.
Carter Center in a report released on March 17 had warned that the poor preparation could impact negatively the process and suggested to delay briefly the electoral process. The opposition forces had made similar objections and asked to delay it to November.
Arman further said that the outcome of these elections would complicate the resolution of Darfur conflict "because it will bring a group of unwelcome people who contributed in raising the fire of sedition in Darfur," he said.
Asked about what their plans to the after election period Arman, who also heads the SPLM northern Sudan sector, said they are consulting with the opposition forces to adopt a joint position.
Last week, the SPLM deputy chairman, Riek Machar, said Arman was behind the decision to withdraw from the presidential election, adding boycott by SPLM northern Sudan of legislative and states elections might lead them to do underground subversive activities.