SUDAN WATCH: Sudanese register for first free vote in 24 years

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sudanese register for first free vote in 24 years

Sudanese began registering on Sunday, 01 November 2009, for the country's first multi-party elections in 24 years, but opposition parties threatened to boycott the April poll unless democratic reforms are passed.

See full story by Opheera McDoom in Khartoum, Reuters, 01 November 2009 (via   Sudanese register for first free vote in 24 years

Sudan's first presidential and legislative elections

Photo: A woman displays her identity card after registering for Sudan's first presidential and legislative elections in Khartoum, November 1, 2009. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah Tue Nov 03, 2009)
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From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 02 November 2009:
Sudan's opposition urges supportes to regiter as voters
(Khartoum) - Sudanese Opposition parties are urging their supporters to take advantage of the on-going voter registration to exercise their voting rights in the up-coming general elections scheduled for April next year.

In a press conference in Khartoum on Saturday the Spokesperson of the National Democratic Alliance and Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, Farouk Abu-Issa, said that the Alliance of opposition parties has formed a legal committee to monitor the voter registration process in Khartoum.

[Farouk Abu-Issa -Arabic]: “The meeting has decided that all our parties’ supporters in the national capital, in the regions and outside the Sudan should work together as representatives of the opposition parties. Our group will soon circulate a memo regarding this issue calling for cooperation in all stages of voter registration. At the moment, it is accepted that parties should monitor voter registration, our people must organize themselves and we have formed a national body for monitoring voter registration here in the centre.”

Abu-Issa claimed that parties have received news from the regions that more than sixty-five percent of the members of the National Election Committee in the different states are members of the N-C-P, raising concerns that the forth-coming elections may not be “free and fair”.
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From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 02 November 2009:
NEC officials barred in Halaib
(Eastern Sudan) - The Beja Congress party claims that the voter registration exercise did not start at Halaib triangle, an area along the Red Sea coast being contested between Sudan and Egypt.

Last month the National Election Committee announced that the residents of Halaib will be allowed to register as voters.

However a senior official in the Beja Congress party and a member of parliament, Abdullah Musa told Sudan Radio Service from Khartoum, that the electoral team was barred from entering Halaib by Egyptian authorities.

[Abdullah Musa 1 -Arabic]: “The voter registration did not start in Halaib because the Team from the election committed was refused entry by Egyptian authorities. And this is not the first time. During the census, the enumerators were not allowed to count people. The border is closed and Egyptian authorities there have erected a barbed wire fence."

The deputy chairman of NEC, Doctor Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah said that NEC has not received any information to that effect.

[Abdullah Ahmed -Arabic]: “I have no detailed information regarding this news, and we wouldn’t to discuss about Halaib. All we know is that the Halaib triangle is a Sudanese constituency.”

The Halaib triangle has been a source of tension between Sudan and Egypt since 1958.
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From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 02 November 2009:
Mayom community against split of county
(Unity State) - People of Mayom County living in Khartoum are against attempts by some politicians to split the County.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service during a meeting organized by the Association of Mayom County Students in Universities and Higher Institutions of learning in Khartoum on Sunday, Mayom County Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, Stephen Kuina Garjik denounced the attempts.

[Stephen Kuina -English]: “This is not the right time for Mayom to be divided into two. If there are individuals in Mayom who are eager to have two counties, it has not been requested by the community to have two counties at the same time. So I think there is a misunderstanding somewhere. Our answer or our position is no because we are not ready to have two counties at the same. Again when you look at the figures that came out as a result of the census, Mayom got 120 thousand 715. In order to divide that number, you will not have a county because you cannot have a county which has lees than 60 thousand populations that is more or less, I don’t know how some of our people think that they should divide them. But if they want to divide it, it is the youth and the community to ask for more counties not politicians.”

Mister Kuina added that the ten chiefs of Mayom are all united against the division of Mayom County.
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Observers are delayed as deadline nears in Sudan’s voter registration

From Sudan Tribune, Wednesday, 04 November 2009 - excerpt:
The Carter Center has deployed already 12 observers to five regions of Sudan and it hopes to bring in 20 additional observers for the ongoing voter registration period.

But in a statement today the international NGO said it was “concerned that its mission will be compromised if the Center’s observers are not accredited immediately and if regulations are not applied equally to all national and international observer groups.”
See full story: Observers are delayed as deadline nears in Sudan’s voter registration
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Further reading 

South Sudan government calls for mobilization of citizens to register for ...

ReliefWeb (press release) - ‎27 minutes ago‎
South Sudan Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Martin Elias Lomuro, appealed to all institutions to mobilize and encourage citizens to register for the 2010 ...

Sudan election monitor hindered

Philadelphia Inquirer - ‎10 hours ago‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Permit delays, lack of funds, and security intimidation are obstructing international and local observers from monitoring registration for ...

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