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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan opposition criticises AU over monitoring of elections

April 18, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) has criticised the African Union (AU) over its monitoring of the coutnry’s general elections, accusing it of bias towards the government.

An official closes a ballot box during the end of elections in Khartoum on 16 April 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
An official closes a ballot box during the end of elections in Khartoum on 16 April 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
In a press conference held on Saturday, leading SCoP figure Mastoor Ahmed said the AU’s monitoring of elections confirmed to the “Sudan Call” forces that the regional body is “fully biased towards the regime”.

He further pointed that the move will negatively affect relations of the AU with opposition forces and the Sudanese people.

He noted that the AU made a grave mistake by monitoring elections, saying the move will negatively impact on “Sudan Call” forces’ motivation to engage in the dialogue sponsored by the AU.

Last February, the “Sudan Call” forces including the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), National Umma Party (NUP) and the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) accepted to meet the government in a pre-dialogue meeting to be organised by the AU mediators.

However, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) declined to participate in the meeting saying they will not take part in any meetings prior to the elections.

African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) said it was aware of the human rights suppression in the country but said satisfied that the four-day process went peacefully.

“This election should not be a barrier against moving dialogue forward, which should be all-inclusive to ensure political stability and social cohesion, as well as popular participation for all the people of Sudan,” the AUEOM said in a statement.

Mastoor acknowledged failure of the opposition parties to take advantage of the low voter turnout and to turn it into an uprising to overthrow the government.

“Opposition forces failed to transform [people’s] refusal for elections into a revolution and uprising to overthrow the regime,” he said.

He stressed that the continuation of the regime poses serious danger to stability of Sudan and the region, pointing the low voter turnout indicates illegitimacy and isolation of the regime.

SCoP chairman Ibrahim al-Shiekh said in a statement Thursday that Sudanese people had challenged the regime and refused to cast their votes despite extension of voting period.

Sudan began tallying votes from its general elections on Friday, with electoral observers estimating that only a third of Sudan’s 13.6 million registered voters went to the polls.

Several international organisations, including the AU and the Arab League, monitored Sudan’s elections, as did 210 Sudanese organisations.

China, Russia, Nigeria and seven other African countries also monitored the polls.

Incumbent president Omar Hassan al-Bashir is largely expected to win re-election after the main opposition parties boycotted the polls by not fielding candidates.

Results of the vote are expected on 27 April.