Home | Comment & Analysis    Sunday 31 January 2010

Fraud in Sudan’s electoral process

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By Arman Muhammad Ahmad

January 30, 2010 — Under the current government Sudan is one of the world’s least transparent countries, according to a 2009 report by Transparency International. State institutions today lack transparency due to a number of reasons, among them the absence of the rule of law and judicial independence as well as systematic constitutional violations.

Shocking levels of corruption only add to the problem. The Auditor-general produced annual reports revealing only 10% of the misuse of public money by government officials. The Auditor-general himself is accused of sleaze by some influential political beasts inside the ruling (National Congress Party). Clearly, NCP officials have become (and have always been) symbols of kleptocracy in Sudan.

The current regime will not allow transparent, free and fair elections that could end its bad governance. The upcoming April 2010 elections in particular, are of great importance to the ruling group. Indeed some NCP affiliates have claimed that its results will be a devastating blow to Luis Moreno Ocampo the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (the ICC-which is currently charging President Al-Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity).

False registration

For this reason, the NCP plots to fraud the upcoming elections by falsifying the results of the population census and through the addition of false names to the electoral register or the multiple registration of a single person (to be used later in ballot stuffing). The number of false names in the electoral register is estimated to be over 10 million. This fabrication has been done through a number of means. For example, local popular committees throughout the country have issued millions of false IDs. Under-age citizens have been added to the electoral register and police and armed forces personnel have been registered inappropriately. There have also been many discrepancies in the registration of the Sudanese expatriates and immigrants abroad.

The High Electoral Commission has been appointed by the government while NCP cadres carry out the field work by registering people. Some cadres from the ruling group have also bribed (and tried to bribe) monitors and representatives from other parties.

Pointless observation

The population census has shown that the population of Sudan is about 39 million and that the enfranchised population is around 20 million. The citizens who have registered are actually less than 6 million. However, the Electoral Commission declared that 16 million people or about 80% of the enfranchised population have been registered. This is to allow the government to claim that the elections meet international requirements. Consequently, after a meeting between United Nations representatives in Khartoum and the High Electoral Commission, around $90, 000,000 were allotted by the U.N to support this fraudulent election operation.

However, the results of the general elections in Sudan have become a foregone conclusion so sending international monitors to observe them in April 2010 will be pointless.

Further more, these elections have been postponed several times. This violates article 216 of the present Sudan transitional constitution which states that the general elections must be held no later than the 9th of July 2009. This means that the current government has lost its legitimacy since that time; therefore any general elections held afterwords would be unconstitutional and illegal.

False legitimacy

Amazingly, NCP lawyers have tried to defend this by referring to Article 57 of the transitional constitution. The Minister of Justice held a press conference on the 12th of July 2009 in which he stated that Article 57 permitted the current President to stay in power for another 5 years. The former Chairman of the Sudanese Legal Bar (which is affiliated with the NCP) has also stated the same.

Unfortunately, for the Justice Minister and the former Chairman of the Legal Bar, Article 57 does not refer to the current President. It refers to the forthcoming elected President. This exposes the lack of integrity that plagues the current legal institutions-where the supposed champions of the Sudanese legal system, such as the Justice Minster and the former Chairman of the Legal Bar, pursue their own political agenda rather than uphold the law and constitution.

Another strange occurrence is that some people claim that these elections are fraudulent while simultaneously advocating that people participate in them to uphold their constitutional rights. But how can constitutional rights be upheld by an action which is fundamentally unconstitutional? The only result that can come out of such an action is the lending of false legitimacy to an illegitimate government.

Before votes are cast in the ballot box, claims of electoral fraud must be investigated by an independent and transparent body. The millions of dollars donated by international donors and the U.N must be legally audited. Only then can free, fair and democratic elections be held in Sudan.

The author is a Sudanese writer. He can be reached at armana@email.com



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  • 31 January 2010 06:59, by Master

    Mr Arman Ahmad

    Your article is prejudice and insightless. You claim the census was rigged with over 10 million false names. Are you insane !! Thats more then the entire population of Jordan ! There were international observers in the North, the South conducted its own census and they reported their own results. Dont you think someone would have picked up on this, if it wasn’t just the claims of a delusional man. So unless you have evidence to back your ridiculous claims i advice Sudan tribune to stop posting this kind of trash !!

    The World, UN, US, EU, AU and Arab league will all be observing and monitoring these coming elections and they will be the judge. So if you worry that your sad little party is not going to win votes in the next election, stop crying wolf and accept it like a man. You cowardice traitor.

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2010 07:48, by Dinka Boy

      Mr Arman Ahmad,

      Thanks fro your article. That is really the point.
      Ncp is going the make unfair election in the entire South.

      Please mr Arman. leave that barking dog called Master. He is one of South Sudanese who is still supporting Dr Lam Akol. They are traitors.
      Thanks brother i like people who tell the truth like you.
      Thanks

      repondre message

      • 31 January 2010 09:54, by Time1

        Master is an Arab, you sound liek an Arab too otherwise why would you use the name Dinka boy? both of you are NCP slaves.

        repondre message

    • 5 February 2010 00:37, by Paul Ongee

      Master,

      You’re a master of Islamic fascism. You have every right to express your opinion but why do you often struggle to defend dictatorial regime? Dictatorship is mostly applied to or associated with military regime that came to power through coup d’etat regardless of its bloodiness or not. Why was it so difficult for the Ingaz to step down and form a caretaker government to hold democratic elections? Your argument always lacks intellectual sense. Ask yourself "Why Sudan has often been at war with itself?" Why subjective religion is always injected into national politics without consideration of multi-ethnic society of ours? Is Islamic religion is better than other religions or our national unity? Why has Ingaz in particular failed to formulate a political equation that could keep our beloved country united?

      Potential secession is a viable solution to the problem of mismanaging cultural diversity. Almost all the major northern opposition parties have been in power but failed to come up with a tangible political solution. However, you have the right to remain silent, complain or shout at Junubin for what they feel is right for them in particular as Sharia law to Northerners. We should all know that Sudan was already religiously divided before 1956. Therefore, it was the responsibility of the Islamic successive regimes in Khartoum to work hard to keep the country united rather than scaling up religious and cultural differences. You have the right to identify yourself more with the Middle East than Africa or the Western world.

      Paul Ongee

      repondre message

  • 31 January 2010 09:53, by Time1

    Mr Arman

    You have raised impoprtanbt issues concerning the legitimacy of this coming elections, the ruling government party in the north cannot survive honestly without rigging the elections or intimidating voters and opposition candidates, NCP support in ther whole Sudan is at its lowests levels ever, they have used various ways first to rig the census which many agree was not properly conducted and the results was doubtful. This government is rooted on corruption, intimidation and luck of democratic values, it is the hardline uncivilized culture of the NCP government, does not allow it to give open space for freedom of expression and democratic changes required by the peace agreements.Rigfht now the dictatorial government is already acting like they won the elections because the rigged it even before it started, what a shameful bunch of losers who think they know about the future of Sudan, but they are lying to themselves.

    repondre message

  • 31 January 2010 10:18, by Time1

    Master

    Do not be over proud of the situation in north Sudan, it is not very nice as you want to convince yourself.we know the istuaiton in north sudan is really bad hahaha

    What law and order do you have in the north? in Darfur? or in the east? political crisis and intimidation of opposition in Khartoum and centre? or in the occupation of Halayeeb? First of all there is no freedom for opposition in north Sudan, no freedom of press, frequent arrests of oppositions and killing of darfurians, you keep kissing Arabs ass but that will not make you get what you want, the world already know about north Sudan.

    1-Omer bashir committed war crimes in Darfur, muslims massacring muslims in Darfur, you Arabs discriminate against black africans of Darfur even when they are muslims, war still in Darfur and central Sudan, where is the peace in the north, are you dreaming to make you feel better?

    2-The president of north Sudan is the only serving president in the whole continent who has been charge with war crimes and genocide, he is wanted by ICC and is a fugitive of international justice, does that show a good image of the Arabs in north Sudan?

    2-you are already int he US lists of Terrorists states,you sponsor bin ladin, you support LRA in terrorist rebels, you support al shabab in Somali and islamic rebels in ethiopia, i do not see north sudan coming off that lists very soon.

    4-What oil does north sudan have, currently? let not talk about oil that north will have in the future, because everyone will have oil in the future, but currently north sudan depends 90 of its budget on oil which is 50% of oil from south sudan, everybody know Sudans oil is in the south, in uppernile and unity states the major oil producing states in Sudan, north sudan has no oil, when south sudan seperates we will see that big mouth of having oil in north sudan, the fact is north Sudan is dependent on south Sudans oil currently.

    5- North is a dictatorial system, one party states run by NCP since 1989, everybody knows north Sudan is run by a dictator and an ICC war crimnal, there is no democracy in north sudan, the Hardline Islamic cultuure mixed with Hardline Arab culture does not allow for democratic and sercular systems of governance in north Sudan.

    Until north Sudan change its culture of hardline islamic believe mixed with hardline Arabic culture, they will not move forward.

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2010 10:59, by Master

      Thanks for your input Time1.

      The ICC has no power or jurisdiction over Sudan. Time will prove that. The reports are starting to appear - latest from the UK. Indication 80% of deaths in darfur occurred from disease. President Bashir has been asked to present in front of the court. Until then HE HAS NOT PROVED GUILTY. The way things are going with the Americans i dont think he will ever go the ICC and for its own economic interest the US will lift Sudan from the List. Which by the way if a joke. Scott Gration admitted it in front of congress. THERE IS NO REASON SUDAN SHOULD BE ON THE TERROR LIST - ITS POLITICAL.

      AS FOR THE OIL I ALREADY ANSWERED THE QUESTION IN A PREVIOUS ARTICLE WITH PROOF. PLEASE REFER TO IT.

      YOU TALK OF LAW AND ORDER --- STOP JOKING. THE SOUTH IS A JUNGLE WITH NOTHING ESPECIALLY LAW AND ORDER. 1800 PEOPLE DIED THIS YEAR ALONE BECAUSE OF THAT.

      DEMOCRACY ? WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE ELECTIONS.

      repondre message

      • 31 January 2010 11:02, by Master

        DO YOU CLAIM DEMOCRACY IN THE SOUTH?

        let me ask anyone outside the SPLM/A what they think. Let me ask any Nuer or Shullok what they think. i doubt it.

        There is no such thing as hardline arabic culture - its just culture. We wont change that. So you can run around naked drinking cattle urine and get drunk. No thanks we prefer to keep our 6000 Year History, we dont have to go backwards.

        repondre message

      • 31 January 2010 13:12, by Time1

        Master

        There is clear evidence of war crimes and genocide in Darfur, Ocampo has all the evidence including eye witness, militas and army commanders who deserted the SAF, videos and pictures all as proves of genocide in Darfur. Arabs killings of black Darfurians has been proven by the court, next week genocide charges are most likely to be added to the criminal presidents ICC file.Omer bashir will be brought to justice, the world it just taking things easy now because they want to maintaint he balance of peace and stability after many years of war in Sudan, but after 2011 there is going to be alot of pressure for Omer bashir to hand himself in to face international justice for war crimes and genocide that Arab committed in Darfur.

        I think you are wrong about Sudan disappearing from terrorist lists, there is still strong links which exists between terrorist groups and north Sudan, unoless the Americans fail to see it properly.

        There is no democracy in north Sudan, no freedom of press or e ven freedom of expression. do not be afraid , just change your barbaric Arab Islamic culture of violence and things will look better in north Sudan.

        repondre message

        • 1 February 2010 08:09, by Master

          you didnt answer my question.

          DO YOU CLAIM DEMOCRACY IN THE SOUTH?

          repondre message

          • 1 February 2010 10:36, by Sudan virus

            yes master,
            There is democracy in the south. Dictatorship is in the north.

            repondre message



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