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Sudanese government officials pledge to facilitate 2015 elections

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July 22, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Elections Committee (NEC) said on Tuesday it had received assurances from the information and justice ministries that the necessary measures would be taken to ensure the 2015 elections are conducted on time.

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Sudanese check their names on lists outside a polling station to vote for Sudan’s first multi-party elections in decades in Khartoum, on 11 April 2010 (AP)

The ruling National Congress Party said it is determined to conduct general elections in the country next year, despite calls on the opposition parties to participate in a national dialogue process aiming to end armed conflicts in the country and achieve democratic reforms and ending war.

The NEC chief, Mukhtar al-Asam and the commission members met with the justice minister, Mohamed Bushara Dousa, in the presence of the state minister at the justice ministry, justice ministry undersecretary, Sudan’s prosecutor general, and heads of justice ministry departments.

The justice minister expressed great confidence in the NEC members who have been appointed recently, stressing they represent a real boost to the commission because they possess cumulative experience and high scientific capabilities.

He expressed hope that elections would be held according to the law, saying it must be fair, transparent and impartial and guarantees rights of everyone.

Dousa further said his ministry is ready to offer legal support at any elections stages which require legal presence, pointing they are ready to translate and print the amended elections law and regulations issued thereunder in order to make them available for all parties well a head the elections.

Al-Asam, for his part, praised the professional and legal role played by the justice ministry in the previous elections, expressing hope that its participation in the upcoming elections be equally powerful.

He underscored his commissions’ readiness to start elections procedures according to the law.

The NEC chief also said the final election schedule will be announced within two weeks following Eid al-Fitr [feast of breaking the fast of Ramadan] holiday, calling upon all political parties to get ready for this phase.

Meanwhile, the NEC was reassured of the information ministry readiness to give equal access to national media for all political parties participating in the elections.

The information minister, Ahmed Bilal Osman, in press statements following the meeting with the NEC members, said they discussed ways for promoting coordination between the ministry and the commission before, during and after elections.

He disclosed formation of a committee to follow-up the coordination process, asserting that all media outlets would participate to the success of the elections.

Al-Asam, for his part, said they sensed the information ministry’s seriousness to allow equal access to national media for all parties in order to get the opportunity to address their affiliates and 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.

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

Late last June, the Sudanese parliament 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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