Home | News    Wednesday 14 April 2010

Carter election observer mission says no evidence of fraud in Sudan poll


April 13, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The head of the Carter Center observation mission in Sudan, former US president Jimmy Carter, in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) said that there was no proof of fraud in the Sudanese national elections currently underway running contrary to assertions made by opposition.

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Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks during an interview with Reuters in Juba, south Sudan April 13, 2010 (Reuters)

Carter told AFP that voters could not always find their names on electoral lists but he explained, "Those are administrative problems but no evidence of fraud so far as I know."

The former president, who is leading a team of 70 observers, also welcomed a decision by the National Election Commission (NEC) to extend by another two days the three-day vote that kicked off Sunday, saying that should be adequate to allow everyone to vote.

"There are some problems but they are trying to be corrected and I think it’s a very good decision by the NEC to extend the voting for two more days," he said, sitting under the welcome shade of a tree in Mugoro, south Sudan.

Voting kicked off on Sunday to a chaotic start, prompting the NEC to prolong the voting process by two-days to end on Thursday. The commission also announced today that it is freezing elections in some areas because of logistical issues.

Election monitors across Sudan said early voting had been affected by missing ballot boxes, poorly trained staff and confusion over the location of voting centers. Officials and observers also said that in both the south and north, names missing from the electoral register was a major problem.

A "preliminary statement" issued last month by the Carter Center on the final stages of Sudan’s electoral process referred to discrepancies in voters’ lists and omitted names which led to people being turned away from the polling stations where they were legally registered.

This particular problem which has been reported across all of South Sudan left would-be voters with the choice of either giving up or walking sometimes for miles to reach the next polling station to see if they can locate their names. The Vice-President of the semi-autonomous region of South Sudan had to visit five polling stations before finding his own name.

Carter’s observers foretold such problems when they stated on March 17th that they were "deeply concerned" that electronic version of the voters’ list had omitted "several hundred thousand names."

"Reports have surfaced of discrepancies in the handwritten voter registration booklets and the electronic voter registry. In one case, officials in Warrap have identified a difference of 78,000 in the number of registered voters in the registration books and the names inputted from the data center," the Center’s official statement read.

Also on March 17, the Carter Center referred to concerns associated with the printing of the ballots in Sudan rather than abroad. The ballots were printed in Khartoum. The observers said that the in-country printing "may weaken the security of the ballots."

Carter’s staff moreover warned that a "dramatic reduction" in the number of originally planned polling stations had reduced the likelihood of full participation, suggesting that polling stations "will struggle to process all those who wish to vote" and concluding that "even a moderate turnout will be challenging to accommodate during the prescribed three-day balloting period."

After the release of this assessment Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir threatened to expel international observers who push for a delay of the election. Despite this threat in March, and another in April to cut off observers’ tongues, Carter told AFP: "I don’t have any concern about safety; we haven’t had any threats at all to our observers."

The US Administration and Carter alike appear keen to endorse the conduct of the elections as a "milestone" toward the referendum for South Sudan’s independence in 2011. The US State Department assistant secretary Philip Crowley was asked in a press briefing last week whether "the U.S. is going to be ready to sign off on the results no matter how flawed the actual process"? He answered, "what’s the alternative?"

Crowley had said: "We’re talking about implementing specific obligations under the [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] that lead to the important referenda that will occur next January. We want to see CPA implementation continue on schedule. This election is part of that process. …Ultimately, we think there’s value in giving the people of Sudan an opportunity to participate in a broader political process for the first time in a quarter century. That has value."

The support to the elections coming from both Carter in Sudan and the State Department in Washington has infuriated Sudanese opposition parties.

Before the polling began on Sunday, US presidential envoy Scott Gration made a bid to prevent opposition parties from boycotting the elections. He failed to convince the Umma Party and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Northern Sector from boycotting all levels of the poll. He had offered them to act as an intermediary with the National Elections Commission and other authorities in the event of irregularities. The opposition parties argue that the elections cannot be free and fair.

The boycotting opposition parties on Monday held a press conference to criticize the US backing for the nationwide election. In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, erstwhile SPLM presidential candidate Yasir Arman said, "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."

Last week, the Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP) leader Mubarak Al-Fadil said at a press conference alongside Arman that the presence of foreign observers such as Carter Center and the European Union (EU) will contribute to granting legitimacy to the elections and enforcement of the status quo.

Al-Fadil further said that the observers did not disclose that the National Election Commission (NEC) refused to allow them to verify the voters records adding that it has not been printed up till now because names are still added to it. He and Arman said that the ruling party has intimidated the observers against trying to unveil any irregularities.

However today AL-Fadil was quoted by the independent Al-Tayar newspaper as saying that he expects Carter to provide a "truthful" assessment of the elections after they leave the country.

The elections mark a key stage in a 2005 north-south peace deal which ended Sudan’s 22-year civil war, and precede a 2011 referendum on southern independence. The semi-autonomous south is widely expected to secede.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 14 April 2010 06:22, by Dinka Boy

    Oh shut up Carter you are another one drive by the devil eyes.Look the way you look in the web.You look like a gost from evil.Who told you the election was not rig.You had just sees things with that caty eyes.You bettew pack your rubbish and go back to us and wait die.fuck you

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    • 14 April 2010 07:24, by Gatwech

      So Yasser ARman has joined the opposition group against his chairman Salvatore Kiir Mayardit.

      This fugitive (saved by CPA general amnesty) wants to continue sitting with opposition groups condemning the elections while his chairman, Kiir, is participating in the very elections. When Kiir continues to become First Vice President in Khartoum after elections, what will Arman do. Will he act against Kiir’s government?

      This Arman is now showing his true colour against the South Sudan referendum (independenc). How dare he sits with those who accuse US government of trying to separate South from North?

      This Aram should be DISOWNED by the SPLM as soon as possible, otherwise, he will undermine the process to referendum through opposition activities against his chairman.

      How come half of the party (SPLM Northern Sector) can be in opposition while the other half (SPLM Southern Sector) plus the leadership will be in the government.

      This for sure will cause split between the two SPLM Sectors.

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      • 14 April 2010 08:17, by Dinka Boy


        Do you think that SPLM have little mind like you to disown CDR Yasir Arman from SPLM? please just go and find your survival ways of life instead of making noise about our respected leader. Shut up!

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    • 14 April 2010 11:29, by david kong paul

      Dinka Boy,

      Why do you like barking at every issue all times? In another article i just read you comment making noise at Dr. Lam for reporting that two of his men were shot dead in Unity State.This a rigging related matter, don’t you think so? Furthermore, SPLM, your party, is the ruling party so they are the ones who may carry a possiblity of rigging but you always defend them saying they didn’t do this and that. In here you arguing that there is no rigging.

      In a very contrary manner you are now pissed off when Mr. Carter says there is no sign of elections fraud in Sudan. Are you not contridicting you own self? It just better not to comment on some issues if you have no comments on them. It is not compulsory that you have to comment.


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    • 14 April 2010 21:25, by Peter Nhiany

      Waw Mr. Dinka Boy, you have gone too far my brother. pathetic, how would you talk to another country’s president in such a manner? I did not just read your word said to President Carter.; "fuck you." You can not just say that brother.

      Do you really have some respect of some sort. I’m against whatever you are trying to tell President Carter, but your comments have crossed the line too far.

      Hey, I know we are real people who are commenting on this website, and should have respect for people. I don’t think you would say shut up to the President of South Sudan just you did to the President of the United States of America.

      Hey brother, at home I mean in your home, if there is no respect for one another, things will go smooth. Lets keep our desrespectful manners be in our territory, and not to cross two ocean with words of desrespect.

      I may not be happy with what he is doing in observing elections, but I do have respect for him. Please let’s be some what cautious with our language. Thank you.

      Peter Nhiany.

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      • 15 April 2010 01:08, by Peace Lover

        Mr. Peter Nhiany,

        What you mean by cross two ocean?

        Are living in the United States?

        Or are you from Dinka?

        Who is President Carter for you?

        Do you know the reason why Jimmy Carter in Sudan?

        Did you know that the same Jimmy Carter who kept playing games against Dr. John Garang during his time as a President?

        Do research about Carter Hall in Georgia and find out how many times he did meeting with Garang and what was the results from all those meeting?

        Yes, fuck him. so what? do you forgot that Carter is the one who is fucking all this messes in Sudan.

        Get that please, i know you are kind of people who can understand at a night.

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    • 15 April 2010 02:15, by Santo Deng

      Dinka Boy,

      I am not a usual commentator here. But this one comment from you, really got me going.

      Does the word "RESPECT" mean anything to you?. It goes a long way in determining who you are as a human being. You can not go about disrespecting a former U.S. head of state, like you just did, by calling president Carter names like "Fuck You" or words likening his eyes to a devil. this is an unacceptable behavior from you. learn to set boundaries.

      The moderator of this website"SudanTribune" is also to blame for allowing vulgarites and usage of obscene language, to continue unabated by most discussants on this forum.

      This is the first ever site of its kind on this world wide web, that condones the usage of indecent language on its contents. For God’s sake, there have to be monitoring of what is transpiring here. If negative conmments that negates adherence to ethical standards of speaking in public, are found, they should be immediately removed and a stern warning must be issued to the perpetrator, including the option to terminate his or her membership of this site’s discussion forum. Now, i have a question to the Sudan Tribune Web manager: Does this sound like a tall order?

      You must put an end to this or else, we, The Southern Sudanese People will accuse you of aiding in the sabotaging of our image as it’s evident in your resolve to let our youth degrade themselves in public.

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  • 14 April 2010 06:32, by Dinka Boy

    Yes, I agree with former Us president Jimmy carter that the missing of names and other difficulties that show irrigularities like long distance joutney are not that obvious cues for the fraud, they are indeed an administrative uses and they should be blame to NEC. The above Dinka boy is not me. He is faking me.

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    • 14 April 2010 08:30, by DASODIKO

      I am sure that these Americans have already cook something for Sudan but still is not known what is is that?But it will be known very soon. As I know long ago Sudan in future is African United State of America so its a thread to American interests in Africa, therefore they must deal with the maggots Islamist as long as they can listen to their requests without sending those requests to the parliament to be indorsed. But still there is a hope that the will of the nations is stronger than the the wills of the goverenments. Governments go and the nations stay. Obama and his like will go but people stay.

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  • 14 April 2010 08:44, by Omer Hassan Omer

    The sort of observation that Carter conducting to on going election is very strange because until now he fail to disclose any kind of rigging while, certain cases has been reported in different places for instance, some report said that national election observers are voting on behave of voters, and many didn’t find their names, such mistakes has been planed intentionally. Carter and his government are looking for their interest that to separate south Sudan with any means this is well known by all people we don’t care whether Carter or any body else should grant legality to coming president soon or later they pay the price.

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    • 14 April 2010 09:46, by Samson

      The people of South Sudan mut understand one thing within their country. Therefore, if their government was one who its looting their right to vote then they have to think twice befor they went to vote. That is their choices to do so. But Yesar Arman has right to withdraw when thing not go right within publice affair and I do believed each of us may do the same if you need a free and fair election if not bride any one another.

      SPLM/A was disowned their people by what they have done. If they think that they are on the top of the people South Sudan and the muontane that may not be break then we will fine the harmer to break down into pieces. Words are shape like a swad or saw.

      Let them enjoy but it will not last for ever and ever.

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    • 14 April 2010 11:02, by Peter Nhiany

      I’m very skeptical with President Carter. I can not belief that he does not understand what is going on in Sudan. Regardless whatever he is doing, irrigularities occured one way or the other. What we South Sudanese need to understand is that, Carter is not a Carter for pure peace, but Carter for peace plus benefit. All kinds of politics around the world are driven by the money machine, and who should think that President Carter, and Mr. Graton will run US political interest with out their own portion. US is draging feet on Sudan issues. During campaign trail, Obama had been singing about bringing Darfur issue to and end, and now is walking a turtle walk at the beech. It is only God who knows what will happen to the South Sudanese people. Democrate are some else, and I’m lossing interest on their policies toward Sudan.

      Peter Nhiany.

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  • 14 April 2010 09:22, by Albee

    Well,I have agreed with some of friends who spoke before me about this frucky fraud in Sudan. Business men do not need their businesses to get losing their buyers like what is dealing right now in Sudan. Khartoum president will win his seat like what he did in 89 even if citizens are taking their times without helping themselves. Basher will not accept Jimmy result point. Everybody knows Basher.

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  • 14 April 2010 23:21, by Achuil Manyuat Tong

    Jimmy carter is here for different mission .
    His position show clearly that he is not observing but complianceing with the national congress party .looking at his two different statements he made recently plus his center recommendation before the election .Jimmy carter is really for a business not observation of election .
    Let him be aware that this not American issue .He must be careful in handling this otherwise the egg will break in front of him leaving him with nothing but shame.
    He has to be informed that this is very sensitive and if he adapt the current regimes language we will never allow room for his game since he is just a foreigner.

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  • 14 April 2010 23:31, by Achuil Manyuat Tong

    I can not really belief how this big man messed up ???
    looking at the papers today many irregularities have been reported most of which are not administrative .
    Like one in which observers were not allowed to access polling centre and were told to pick a report from the state election committee .
    Many other cases were recorded but Jimmy carter came up with a statement which contradict both his position and that of the team.
    He has to rethink how he made this comment.

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