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Sudan’s electoral commission receives population data from census bureau: official

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July 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government appeared unrelenting in their push for conducting the 2015 elections despite staunch objection by opposition parties which have consistently asserted that the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) firm control over the state bodies and repressive laws means that fair polls are close to impossible.

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An enumerator from the Sudan Commission for Census and Statistical Evaluation, right, interviews a family on the opening day of Sudan’s 5th National Population and Housing Census in Khartoum, April 22, 2008.

Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS) announced today that it handed the National Elections Commission (NEC) all data relating to estimates of the 2013 population and administrative distributions of the newly established states.

The director of the Department for Population and Social Studies at the Bureau Kamal al-Din Ahmed, said they have joint work with the NEC with respect to administrative distributions and official population statistics.

Ahmed told the pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website that this will help determine constituencies based on population.

He noted that the NEC is tasked with determining the number of those eligible to vote in the upcoming elections.

The population of Sudan, according to the 2008 census was put at 39.1 million but following the country’s breakup, it was estimated to be 33.4 million.

On Saturday, the head of the National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi warned against holding the general elections without reaching a political agreement between political forces. He also downplayed the significance of actions undertaken by the government to prepare for the elections.

The last democratically elected Prime Minister emphasized that conducting elections in this manner will make it a farce and a repeat of the 2010 elections.

NUP along with most major opposition parties boycotted the last elections which were held in accordance with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The NCP won the polls by a landslide in all states and retained the presidency.

After conflicting statements from government officials, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir emphasized this week that there will be no postponement for next year’s elections and even berated NCP officials who suggested otherwise.

The Sudanese parliament last week passed amendments to the 2008 elections law amid accusations by opposition that the government plans to rig the election process through the new law.

(ST)

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