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Vol 51 No 7

Published 2nd April 2010


As elections arrive, the opposition shuns Omer

Sudan is set to become the first country to elect an indicted war criminal as president. Yet the elections are deemed so unlikely to be free and fair that, as AC went to press, the focus was on the extent and effects of the opposition boycott. Oppositionists argued there was little to be gained by participating and lending credence to the elections as the regime had rigged a victory with a manipulated census and elector registration, gerrymandered constituency boundaries and used state funds to buy loyalty.

In the face of blatant preparations for election rigging, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement decided on 31 March to boycott the national presidential election and all elections in Darfur but it will stand in the South, where it dominates the Government of South Sudan (GOSS). As Africa Confidential went to press, the SPLM's partners in the National Consensus Forces (NCF, or Juba Alliance) - the National Umma Party (NUP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sudan Communist Party - had decided to withdraw from the presidential vote and, with other parties in the NCF, were still discussing whether to boycott other polls. Hassan Abdullah el Turabi's Popular Congress Party said it would not boycott.

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