Home | News    Thursday 25 December 2014

17 political parties participating in Sudan’s 2015 elections: official

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December 24, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA/KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government announced that 17 political parties have confirmed participation in the general elections which are set to be held in April 2015.

Sudanese women arrive at a polling station to vote in South Kordofan elections (AFP)

The state minister at the Sudanese information ministry Yasser Youssef who made that revelation stressed that elections remain the optimal mean to achieve stability, peaceful transformation of power and political settlement for all issues.

Youssef, who addressed a group of reporters in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, called upon all political forces to join the elections, saying that boycotting elections will not serve the ultimate national interests.

He underscored his government’s readiness and intentions to offer all guarantees and highest levels of monitoring for fair elections with the participation of all political parties.

Meanwhile, the African Union has decided to deploy an election observation mission to Sudan for the elections led by the former Nigerian president, Olu??gun Obsanjo.

The head of the mission’s technical team Idriss Kamara told Sudan Tribune that an advance team of monitors will visit Sudan in January while the whole mission is expected to arrive in the country eight weeks before the elections.

Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) said on Tuesday that it hasn’t received any requests to observe the elections from abroad, predicting that several countries and foreign agencies will submit requests during the coming period.

It noted that submission of monitoring requests will end by December 31.

Sudan’s opposition parties are refusing to participate saying the environment is not conducive for fair and free polls.

Instead, they propose forming a transitional government and holding a national conference with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution for the conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.

However, 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.

PEACE TALKS

The Sudanese minister said they failed to sign a peace deal with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) on the Two Areas following nine rounds of talks due to the latter’s non-compliance with the terms of references.

He underscored his government’s readiness to resume talks with the SPLM-N whenever it receives an invitation from the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

Youssef described accusations of the SPLM-N that the government is bombing its positions in South Kordofan as “lies”, saying the latter seeks to obtain military support under the guise of the humanitarian assistance.

“Our position is clear. Humanitarian assistance must be provided under the supervision of the Sudanese government, African Union and the United Nations”, he said

Negotiations between Khartoum the SPLM-N stalled after the government delegation insisted that the objective of talks is to settle the conflict in the Two Areas, while the SPLM-N team has called for a holistic approach to resolve ongoing conflicts across Sudan.

The Blue Nile and South Kordofan’s conflict erupted months apart from each other in 2011 when Sudan attempted to forcibly disarm SPLM-N fighters it accuses of being backed by their brother-in-arms in the South Sudanese army.

RELATIONS WITH EGYPT AND ETHIOPIA

Youssef said that differences between Sudan and Egypt are over, describing his country’s ties with Egypt as “good”.

He acknowledged that relations between the two countries were tepid during the past period but said ties have been promoted in all fields following mutual visits of the two presidents.

The Sudanese minister stressed that Ethiopia represents a strategic depth for Sudan, saying his country “looks forward to forging economic partnership and integration with Ethiopia for the well being of the two peoples”.

(ST)

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