Home | News    Friday 12 March 2010

EU kicks off its Sudan election monitoring mission

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March 11, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The European Union (EU) formally inaugurated its Election Observation Mission to Sudan (EU EOM) vowing to diligently monitor the process for any irregularities or fraud.

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The European Union’s chief elections observer Veronique De Keyser addresses a news conference in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, March 11, 2010 (Reuters)

“We will draw our conclusions not only from observation, but from the tendency in a place and from a strict observation of the data,” EU EOM chief Veronique De Keyser said today in a press conference in the Sudanese capital.

“We have a lot of confidence in our conclusions from a statistical point of view... We will be very strict, sticking to the facts and being vigilant about whatever could happen during the electoral process” she added.

The mission is comprised of 130 observers from 22 different EU countries, as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada and they will be deployed to all of the 25 states and will meet government and electoral officials, candidates and representatives from political parties, and with civil society and the media.

Last month, the EU announced that the mission will be the largest in the history of the European bloc.

EU EOM said in a statement that they will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process “based on a long-term observation and a methodology developed by the EU over many years”

“This analysis will include aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the role of State institutions and civil society, the campaign activities, the conduct of the media, the voting and the counting, the complaints and appeals process and the announcement of the results”.

Despite this De Keyser cautioned that EU WOM work has its limitations.

“It is obvious we cannot cover each voting centre,” the EU mission’s chief observer said.

“The EU mission will coordinate its work with the Carter Foundation, another international body authorized to observe the Sudanese electoral process, but its conclusions would remain independent,” she added.

De Keyser also expressed concern over the lack of voter awareness.

“If the people don’t understand really what is the meaning of the vote this could be for me at least the major trap, the major pitfall," she said.

“And it’s difficult because ... some people have never voted,” she said, stressing this was not deliberate and that the EU has pledged money for voter education.

The elections are taking place as part of a 2005 agreement between the Muslim north and largely Christian and animist south that ended a 22-year civil war.

The Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) also allowed the creation of a semi-autonomous government for the south and paved the way for a referendum on southern independence scheduled for January 2011.

The first multi-party presidential, regional and legislative elections in the country since 1986 will take place from April 11-18.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the EU EOM should consider the impact of ongoing human rights abuses and insecurity on the elections process.

“EU observers should look at entire human rights situation and how it is affecting the elections environment,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “They need to look at the overall picture to do the job right”.

Furthermore, the letter highlighted the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) outstanding warrant against Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir for war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

“Al-Bashir is a wanted man who needs to answer to charges of heinous crimes at the ICC,” Gagnon said. “EU silence on this issue risks tacitly endorsing Khartoum’s total obstruction of justice for atrocities against Darfuris.”

However, De Keyser said it was not the role of the EU mission to interfere in Sudanese politics.

(ST)

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  • 12 March 2010 11:04, by James

    Peole should be very carefull in using words like animists,we in South Sudan dont have animists,we have African traditional Relgions,one such religion is Mayualism,Mayualists have their prophet Mayual whom they beleived to have gone back to heaven after preaching about the God the most high.Their message is simple,when in trouble call God to help you,dont eat some bad animals such as monkeys,dont kill your fellow human being among others.It does not explicitly preach voilence like Islam,all other African Religions do the same.Stop calling us animists you devils

    repondre message

  • 12 March 2010 16:04, by Time1

    There several observers in this elections:

    AU observers, UN observers, EU observers, Russian and Chinese observers, then ofcourse the Sudanese monitors and other agencies like Carters centre.

    An overall conclusion about the election will be drawn from assesment of all this election observers and not from one group.

    repondre message

    • 12 March 2010 16:05, by Time1

      Another best way is for all the different observers to coordinate their work and also share data.

      repondre message

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