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Poll Observer: First Day of Sudan Voting was Peaceful

  • Peter Clottey

A top official of the Carter Center’s poll observer team says Sudanese were generally interested in voting as the election continues into the second day in the scheduled three-day general election that began Sunday.

David Carroll, director of the democracy program at the Carter Center said voting so far has been peaceful.

“Sudanese generally are looking interested in the voting process. I think it is fair to see some variability around the country. We don’t have all of the reports from our observer team, but in many places we saw good turnout. We saw people waiting in lines to vote. But in many instances, we saw shortages of material or ballots or voter lists being delivered to the wrong stations,” he said.

The election, which enters its second day of scheduled three days of voting, is Sudan’s first in 24 years since a civil war between the north and the south ended.

The election forms part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between north and south at the end of the decades-long war.

Carroll said there was adequate security that ensured a peaceful vote in the poll centers he visited in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

“I was in stations in Khartoum myself, and there was police presence, as appropriate by election regulations outside the polling place but also nearby, just to maintain security as needed. But there wasn’t in any of the places that I was any kind of intimidating security presence,” Carroll said.

Dr. David Carroll, Director, Democracy Program, The Carter Center

Dr. David Carroll, Director, Democracy Program, The Carter Center

International observers monitoring what many have described as Sudan’s most historic election in decades include the African Union, the European Union in addition to the Carter Center.

Carroll said the poll observers could be seen monitoring Sudan’s vote.

“There is a large international presence, and I think it’s quite important as a symbol of the importance of the election in Sudan and the importance attached to it by the international community and the various international organizations, including the Carter Center. There is a larger team from the European Union and a big team here also from the African Union and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and Arab League and others,” Carroll said.

He pointed out that poll observers from the Carter Center have been working in Sudan since last year in anticipation of the vote.

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