July 7, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has pledged that the government wouldn’t intervene in the upcoming 2015 elections saying the process must be fair and transparent.
- Sudan’s president Omer Hassan al-Bashir delivers a speech on 27 January 2014 in the capital, Khartoum (Photo: AFP/Ebrahim Hamid)
Bashir told members of the National Elections Commission (NEC) who took the oath before him on Monday that the Sudanese people should bear witnesses to the integrity of elections, saying the process must not be marred by any kind of fraud or deception.
The new NEC chief, Mukhtar al-Asam, told reporters following the meeting of the commission members with Bashir that the president underscored the need for counting votes at the end of each voting day in the presence of representatives of all political parties in order for the international community to monitor the integrity of the electoral process.
He added that Bashir welcomed the world powers to monitor the electoral process and see that the government doesn’t intervene in the process.
Al-Asam said the swearing of the NEC members before the president would pave the way for launching the official work of the commission, asserting completion of arrangements on time in order to hold elections as scheduled.
The NEC chief pointed they set electoral table and alternative plans to respond to any emergency, stressing that the commission will conduct the elections with high degree of autonomy.
He said that members of the NEC were carefully scrutinised, saying they were chosen after making sure that they enjoy support of the political parties and their integrity is not questionable.
Al-Asam expressed hope that political parties could identify their delegates in the states, adding that his commission will seek to engage the political forces in all electoral stages.
He further said the work of the NEC will be highly transparent and would seek to repeat the experience of the 2010 elections which he described as “source of pride” for the Sudanese people.
Sudan’s general elections are set to be held in April 2015 but opposition parties threatened to boycott it saying the National Congress Party (NCP) holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromise to end the civil war and allow public liberties.
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 emphasised 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, Bashir emphasised last 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.