SUDAN WATCH: US envoy Gration says Sudan vote would be as "free and as fair as possible"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

US envoy Gration says Sudan vote would be as "free and as fair as possible"

US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration said on Saturday [April 03] he was confident Sudan's first general elections since 1986 would be as "free and fair as possible" and would start on time on April 11.
"They (electoral commission members) have given me confidence that the elections will start on time and they would be as free and as fair as possible," said Gration.

"These people have gone to great lengths to ensure that the people of Sudan will have access to polling places and that the procedures and processes will ensure transparency," he said.
On Wednesday, Yasser Arman, the presidential candidate for the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, withdrew from race after Beshir ruled out delaying the vote.
"I took the decision to withdraw for two reasons. Firstly, after having campaigned in Darfur, I realised that it was impossible to hold elections there due to the current state of emergency," he told AFP.

"Secondly, there are irregularities in the electoral process which is rigged."

Arman said, however, that the SPLM will field candidates in regional and legislative elections "across Sudan, except for Darfur."
Full story by Guillaume Lavallee (AFP) Khartoum, ‎Saturday, 03 April 2010:
Sudan vote free and as fair as possible: US envoy

U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration

Photo: U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, smiles as he leaves after his meeting with vice secretary general of the national elections commission Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah in Khartoum, April 3, 2010. One of Sudan's largest opposition parties said on Friday it would boycott presidential, legislative and gubernatorial polls if government did not meet demands, including a four-week postponement, within four days. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah

Photo: Vice secretary general of the national elections commission Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah talks to reporters after his meeting with U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, in Khartoum, April 3, 2010. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra).

U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration

Photo: U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, talks to reporters after his meeting with vice secretary general of the national elections commission Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah in Khartoum, April 3, 2010. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

Related reports

'No delay' for Sudan's national elections
BBC News - Saturday, 3 April 2010 13:01 UK

Sudan Says Election to Start on Time Despite Protest
New York Times - By Opheera McDoom (Reuters) KHARTOUM - Saturday, 3 April 2010

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