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Sudan’s electoral body extends voting period for extra day

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April 15, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has extended the voting period for another day.

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An election official at a polling station on the first day of Sudan’s presidential and legislative elections in Izba, an impoverished neighbourhood on the outskirts of Khartoum, on 13 April 2015 (Photo: AP/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

NEC said in a brief directive circulated to elections higher committees in the various Sudanese states on Wednesday that it “decided in its meeting number 12 to extend the voting period until 7:00 pm. (local time) on Thursday”.

It also announced that voting period has been extended for two days in the Gazira state, saying the move was to compensate for the polling stations that did not open on Monday due to logistic and administrative reasons.

The directive further said that voting has been extended for three days in some parts of the troubled Darfur region which did not receive ballot boxes on time.

NEC spokesperson al-Hadi Ahmed Mohammed told journalists at a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday that voting had been delayed at 152 polling stations in the Gazira state due to mistakes in the ballot papers and voter register.

There are more than 1,722,000 registered voters and 1,118 polling stations in the eight localities of the Gazira state.

NEC also admitted that rebels had captured some election materials from three polling stations in South Kordofan state.

“The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels have attacked three polling stations in Habila and Abassiya and seized some election materials,” the spokesman confirmed.

He stressed the Sudanese army repulsed the attacks, saying “we just closed three stations out the 17 in the area”.

The third day of elections has witnessed a marked increase in voter turnout in some polling stations in the capital, Khartoum compared to the previous two days.

First and second day of voting were marked by weak participation amid opposition calls for a boycott.

A Sudan Tribune reporter has seen attempts by supporters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to convince voters in some neighbourhoods of Khartoum to cast their ballots by offering them free rides to the polling stations.

About 13.6 million people are eligible to vote across the country. The poll results are expected on April 27.

(ST)

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