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Voter registrations close for Sudan’s 2015 elections

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November 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced the end of voter registration for the 2015 elections and rejected a request by the Council for the Parties of National Unity Government (CPNUG) to extend it for the second time.

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A staff member for Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) empties a ballot box at a polling station in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on 16 April 2010 (Photo: Reuters)

The NEC was forced to extend the registration period for four days, which ended on 15 November due to limited turnout.

Sudan’s general elections are set to be held in April 2015, but opposition parties are refusing to participate saying the environment is not conducive for fair and free polls.

They have instead called for the formation of a transitional government and convening a national conference to be held with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution to the long-running conflicts in the Darfur region, as well as South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

In accordance with the opposition platform, the interim government would organize general elections once a political agreement on constitutional matters is reached, inaugurating a new democratic regime.

On the other hand, the NEC and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) reject any postponement to the electoral process, saying it would create a constitutional vacuum and cause chaos in the country.

The NEC registration official, al-Hadi Mohamed Ahmed, said registration procedures went as planned and have not faced any obstacles, stressing the voter registration ended on Saturday.

He underscored that the states have seen high registration percentage, pointing that more than 1.2 million voter have registered in various states until 11 November.

Ahmed noted that the number of the newly registered voters included 55,000 voters in the White Nile state, 42,000 in West Kordofan state, 31,000 in the River Nile state, 32,000 in the Red Sea state, 100,000 in Kassala state, 43,000 in Gedaref state, 182,000 in Gezira state, 33,000 in Sennar state, 29,000 in Blue Nile state, 112,000 in North Kordofan state, 31,000 in West Darfur state, 120,000 in South Darfur state, 12,000 in the Northern state, 47,000 in North Darfur state, 50.000 in Central Darfur state, and 140,000 in South Kordofan state.

According to NEC official, more than 110,000 new voters have registered in Khartoum state while more than 54,000 others registered in East Darfur state.

He pointed that the NEC refused to extend the registration period for the second time although seven political parties requested extension for another week.

The NEC spokesperson, Safwat Fanus, said the commission extended the registration period for four days which ended on Saturday, stressing that no new decision was made to extend registration.

On Saturday, the CPNUG asked the NEC to make another extension for voter registration in order to allow their supporters to register.

The CPNUG secretary general, Aboud Jaber, said in a press statement that they handed the NEC chairman, Mukhtar al-Assam, over a request to extend the registration period, stressing importance of voter registration as a key stage of the electoral process.

He explained that large numbers of citizens who are above 18 years old were unable to register due to the harvest season which requires extending registration period.

Sudan Tribune recalls that around 10 million people voted in the 2010 election out of the 19.8 million who were eligible to vote. This number includes voters from South Sudan which became an independent state since 2011.

(ST)

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