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Boycotts mar Sudan elections

Last Updated: 4/11/2010 7:19:49 PM

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Sudan's multi party elections are in danger of becoming a farce as opposition partied in both the North and South of the country boycott the elections. ....


Boycotts mar Sudan election
Boycotts mar Sudan election

Sudan's Umma opposition party has said it will boycott next week's elections, casting further doubt on the credibility of the upcoming poll.

The announcement late on Wednesday came a day after another opposition party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), announced it was widening its partial boycott of the election.

Both parties have alleged widespread fraud in the run-up to the vote.

"We have decided to boycott the electoral process at all levels," Sarah Nugdalla, head of Umma's political bureau, told a group of journalists after a party meeting in Omdurman, across the River Nile from the capital Khartoum.

Wednesday's announcement also came hours after European Union election monitors said they were pulling out of Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur, citing security concerns.

Veronique de Keyser, the head of the EU mission, said safety limitations meant it would be impossible to monitor the vote "in a credible way".

Sudan's first nationwide elections in almost a quarter of a century have been scheduled to take place between April 11 and 13.



Reforms

Umma was among a group of opposition parties that had given the Sudanese government until April 6 to implement reforms in return for a pledge to take part in elections that would then be pushed back to May.

"The political bureau discussed the issue over the past two days," Nugdalla said.

"Several points of view were heard. In the end, we came to the conclusion that our conditions for postponing the elections had not been accepted."

Umma had won the previous legislative elections in 1986, only to be removed from power later by Sudan's current president, Omar al-Bashir.


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