Home | News    Monday 12 April 2010

Confusion, chaos marks first day in Sudan elections, opposition allege fraud


April 11, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The first day of Sudan’s general election was marred by delay, confusion of candidates’ names and symbols as well as withdrawal of some candidates for the national parliament while the opposition parties decry the failure of the process.

Over 16 million of Sudanese began to participate in the first multiparty polling in more than two decades. 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 National Elections Commission (NEC) acknowledged "technical errors" in voting slips that angered scores of candidates and led many to accuse the board of failing to fulfill its mandate causing a breakdown in the process.

Among the errors the Sudan state media reported were voters mutilating the ballots by over-marking their choices and delay in receiving voting boxes.

In many parts of the country voting began in the afternoon because the polling stations have not yet received the ballots denying thousands of voters the opportunity to cast their votes.

Eight candidates have announced their withdrawal from the race including prominent pro-Islamists journalists running as independents protesting the omission of their symbols in the ballots at many voting centers. Others said that there was widespread discrepancy in voter records with many names missing or moved to different locations.

Al-Mahboub Abdel-Salam a senior figure with the Popular Congress Party (PCP) accused the authorities of evicting their delegates from the polling stations making them unable to monitor the voting. However, the information minister at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Rabie Abdel-Aati denied in an interview with the Dubai based Al-Arabiya TV claims made by Abdel-Salam saying his party has no role in making such decisions and that it is up to the NEC officials who are in control of the stations.

The Juba alliance comprised of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other Northern opposition parties will hold a press conference tomorrow to outline the violations they discovered so far.

The presidential candidates Abdullah Deng Nhial (PCP) and Hatim Al-Sir (Democratic Unionist Party) told Washington based Al-Hurra TV that fraud took place in a "scary" manner.

But the way things proceeded today came to no one’s surprise given the complexity of the elections that is meant to pick two presidents, 24 governors and 26 state and national assemblies, using three different voting systems and up to 12 ballots. Many Sudanese are also voting for the first time.

After voting, Kiir called the vote "a good beginning" for Sudan. "I hope it will be a foundation for future democracy."

The SPLM pulled out its presidential candidate Yasser Arman, while former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of the northern opposition Umma party also withdrew further undermining the elections credibility.

The opposition parties accused the NCP of veteran President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, of plotting to fake an election victory, particularly after the contract for ballot papers went to a state-owned print house.

Observers say Bashir, who is expected to easily win the elections, is desperately seeking election legitimacy in face of the arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges related to crimes committed in Darfur.

The former US president Jimmy Carter who is in Khartoum monitoring the elections warned today that a collapse of Sudan’s elections could spark a national and regional religious war.

"I think if some violence or disruption occurs here in Sudan it might very well spill over into a large part of Africa," he said in an interview with Reuters.

Asked what specifically could trigger such a conflict, Carter answered: "I think a breakdown in the entire electoral process that results in violence on both sides ... I would say that that could happen only if the process envisioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was disrupted completely which I certainly do not anticipate."

In an interview with the Saudi owned Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper the independent presidential candidate Kamil Idris and the former director of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said that "elections have failed in its first day".

"Closing a polling station, even for several hours means a failure. There is even confusion in the identification code, corresponding to each candidate. They are putting the candidate with the wrong symbol" he said.

Idris said he didn’t cast his vote yet and may even withdraw after deliberating with others. He noted that voter turnout was low and that the average voting time per person was twenty minutes.

"If things continue as they are now [we have] no choice but to withdraw...we want them to correct the errors, because we took part in the elections for the national principle of compromise, to run the state in the coming period and to resolve the Darfur [crisis] and to keep the hope of unity in the south. If the election fail, however, we have no call for a transitional government to arrange for free and fair elections.....there is no doubt that the [elections] commission failed. The National Congress Party must accept a national government" he added.

The SPLM today called for extending the polling period from three to seven days citing many irregularities in the process and long delays. Kiir was forced to wait 20 minutes under a tree for his polling station to open in the southern capital Juba and then spoiled his first ballot by putting it in the wrong box.


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  • 12 April 2010 03:39, by Greater Equatoria

    hahaha.These electiosn are a jock.Now all that key candidates have withdrawn.The funny thing though is that even the top leaders like Kiir messed up votting,haha.That is the problem mass illeteracy,starting with Kiir.God have mercy on Sudanese people.

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    • 12 April 2010 05:21, by Joseph Makuer

      All Readers

      This is an absolute shame election.... check this out www.SudanSham2010.org

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      • 12 April 2010 05:46, by Dinka Boy

        Hey Joseph Makuer,
        Would you pleasae stop your poor analysis.Stop giving out so called shamed whatsoever.Would you.....................

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        • 12 April 2010 06:04, by Gatwech

          Greater Equatoria,

          Ahahahahahaaaaaa............I heard people from Juba saying that Salvatore Kiir put his polling card in the wrong box. Is that true???

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          • 12 April 2010 06:23, by Gatwech

            Dear readers,

            I have just confirmed from the BBC African news this evening (USA) that Salvatore Kiir put his ballot paper in the wrong box!!!

            If Salvatore Kiir could lead in putting his ballot paper in the wrong box, how about the other millions of illiterate voters in the South? This is another serious area to look into.

            Gosh, what is happening!

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    • 12 April 2010 08:17, by James Mangula

      It dehumanizes us all when we allow a fugitive to run an for election unopposed, and yet we know too well that Basher is a desperate criminal who wants to decriminalize his war crime & crime against humanity charges through wining election. It is said "when injustice become a law resistant become a duty" but the withdrawal of SPLM presidential candidate from the race is an abandoning of this duties

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  • 12 April 2010 03:42, by Greater Equatoria

    Haha.These eletions are a jock.bashir will be left alone if all candidates withdraw.The other funny though is that most of the people in Sudan are illeterate,including kiir who messed up his vote at Kololo polling station this morning.God have mercy on sudanese people.

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    • 12 April 2010 04:08, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

      You should tall gatwech that becaused if this election was a referenda what dose he think will happen? and the samethings will happend in referendum the just trust bashir to give south right but they don’t know what will came out

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      • 12 April 2010 04:20, by Time1

        This elections is an experiment for the referendum, the referendum preparation in south sudan will have to start immediately after this elections, voters awareness, checking of potential voters, doing a mock exercise to see different senarious and results and so on, we will not fford to wait and make stupid complains like what happens in this election, however this elections just started, lets wait for it to go untillt he end then all things will be clearer, so far the process has been peaceful and democratic but the irregularities has come solely from the NEC alone due to names missing or appearing in wrong places.

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  • 12 April 2010 04:30, by Time1

    If serious irregularities is confirmed in all the states of Sudan, then the elections will have to be recalled over again within 60 days as the rules of the NEC requires, because people cannot vote if their names are missing or if their candidates are misrepresented or missing from ballot papers. An official complain will have to be launch for recalling the whole elections if NEC does not fix this mess, very reckless and irresponsible move by the NEC, they have been apid alot of money to do this process, they are not doing it for free.

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    • 12 April 2010 05:32, by mohammed ali

      Why refering to Carter centre report on 17 March and not to what Carter said on all tv stations yesterday?! He clearly said while touring different centres ,at the closing time of the first day that every thing is going smoothly and he didn’t see or notice any irregularities and no irregularties were reported to him from different parts of SUDAN.

      We have seen continuos live coverage from diffrent tv stations..Algazeira,al hura,al shoroug,al arabia and brief coverage from many international tv’s.The techenical irregularties, like some names not appearing on the voting slip had affected all parties including the NCP .Never-the-less every defected paper was immeditely replaced.

      It is funny that the European comission withdraw from Darfur while attended the elections in Afganistan and Iraq ,where non-stop killing of dozens occurs on daily basis.

      Thoses who think that the colonial white-man is going to give us a passport to paradise are day dreaming!

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      • 12 April 2010 05:55, by Time1


        That is why everybody is say that IF the irregularities continue and become severe as to where voters cannot continue to vote any more or find their names then there will have to be an official complain, but if NEC fix this matter get the names and carry on with the votes then i do not see any problems wether in the north or south. but this elections are sitll in the early stage so we all have to wait and see how it unfolds, also we have to wait for official statements from the different parties including the NEC. Uusally the first day is difficult but lets hope things become clear by today and tomorrow.

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        • 12 April 2010 06:24, by mohammed ali


          I agree time.Not only the first day is difficult, but who does anything in Sudan in time?

          By the way did you attend any football match in Sudan? Well ,it is almost usal when big teams are playing and on of them gets defeated , the fan of the looser team will start shouting in a chotus ( al tahkeem fashil..fashil) meaning the referee had faild.They donnot admit the defeat instead they blame the referee.

          This is what happening now!

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          • 12 April 2010 18:19, by Agutran

            Mohammed, does this election really matter to you? Aren’t you aware of Southern Sudan operating almost 100% autonomously?

            Does it matter whether or not election is manipulated in any way shape or form?

            Take this to the bank; Sudan will not be same from now on.

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  • 12 April 2010 06:05, by Gatwech

    Greater Equatoria,

    Ahahahahahaaaaaa............I heard people from Juba saying that Salvatore Kiir put his polling card in the wrong box. Is that true???

    repondre message

  • 12 April 2010 06:21, by Gatwech

    Dear readers,

    If Salvatore Kiir could lead in putting his ballot paper in the wrong box, how about the other millions of illiterate voters in the South? This is another serious area to look into.

    Gosh, what is happening!

    repondre message

    • 12 April 2010 06:45, by paul baak anyaar

      I have a mind to describe these elections free but not fair. Ask me, why?

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  • 12 April 2010 07:36, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    All irregularities in favor of wanted Criminal Omer Albashier Interest. He is in total confusion of happiness, what can he do after result announcement.
    All what are happening are well planned and designed by Architect Mr. Ali Nafi Nafi and implementer Mr. Ali Osman Mohamed Ali.
    Do not get surprise in all what are taking place, normal under NCP, what they need is legitimacy of Albashier Government.

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  • 12 April 2010 07:46, by Gatwech


    I predicted all those types of irregularities to occur long time ago in my comments on this website. Please watch out for my well guided predictions......

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    • 12 April 2010 08:25, by Gatwech

      Dear readers,

      Particularly to those undisciplined and uncultured Bor-Dinka boys and girls who lie and insult with utmost disrespect. Please respect Madam Angelina Jany Teny, the wife of Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon and mother of well raised up handsome/beautiful children, some of whom have already obtained their masters degrees in well respected universities in Europe.

      They got married in late 1970s from respectful and popular famililies in the Nuerland, Liech state. Angelina’s father was a parliamentarian after the Addis Ababa Agreement while Dr. Riek’s father was the paramount chief of Leer and Ayod counties combined. They were both initially educated in Khartoum in 1970s.

      She is a well British educated woman and soon to come first lady by 2011. Please you can even appreciate her and her husband, Dr. Riek for bringing up their children in civilized and futuristic manner unlike John Garang and Rebecca Nyandeng who have produced stupid kids, drug addicts like Mabior and Chol who only roam streets, drunkard and uneducated.

      Please lying because of hatred is uncultured and should stop it. This family is the greatest.

      Their first two children, Teny and his sister, Meer, are among the most successful children of leaders in the South.

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  • 12 April 2010 08:30, by Albee

    Hi Readers,
    Do you agree with this election as a fair election in Sudan for presidence? I believe it is a fraud election because there is no freedom in Sudan,and it seems like 83 where there was no right for citizens.Khartoumers will enjoy their freedom forever and the others will cry forever.However,blood for those who died will claim their right in Sudan;regardless of,how long or soon will it take in Sudan? Weak leaders will mislead their people always.Khartoum will win what will be other point? Another 83 or what?

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    • 12 April 2010 09:00, by Toposa Boy Southerner

      SPLM today called for extending the polling period from three to seven days

      Kirr silvator never will never understand the elction process

      7 days extending hahahahaha

      this is indeed becoming ajungle style of silvertor

      7 days extending new international record of silverltor and his boys losses

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  • 12 April 2010 10:49, by Aketch

    Since everyone including the intl osbervers has noticed the widerspread irregulaties in this long awaited elections in Sudan,
    why should people that are taking part in voting process and the concerned candidates turned a deaf ears to these irregulaties.please dear sudanese if u are not part of these irregulaties and negligence, just pull out of these elections and avoid the temptation of extending the electoral periods.
    my pleasure goes to Yasir Arman and the former president Sadiq Al Madi for their competencies in these elections.I majorly praise them for their pullout in this malicious act of NCP.
    Remember negligence kills hence the saying "a small lick will sink a great ship"

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