An advisor to Sudan’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) says the upcoming general election scheduled to be held from April 11 to 13th will be free and fair.
The commission’s media advisor Abu Bakr Waziri said the polls will not be postponed despite speculation that the date of the vote would be changed because of disputes over the census and on-going strife in the western region of Darfur.
“All the preparations have been taken … now we are in the midst of the parties’ political campaigns, which should finish by (the) April 9… the voting will start as you all know on April 11 for three consecutive days, and the results will appear in five days, April 14-18,” he said.
“So far, nothing has been officially issued from the electoral commission to postpone or to delay the elections,” he continued. It will be (on) the same date unless [otherwise determined by the] authority of the two partners, the national government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan,” Waziri said.
The upcoming vote will be the country’s first multi-party elections in 24 years.
Balloting will determine who will serve as national president and president of the South, members of parliament, and state governors and state assemblies.
Eleven candidates will be challenging incumbent President Hassan Al-Bashir in the presidential vote.
Waziri said the Electoral Commission has invited both local and international poll observers to help ensure transparency.
“The National Electoral Commission is (bound) by the National Election Act of 2008, which makes it the only responsible (body in charge of) conducting the election …So far, it seems to be a fair election because we have many [international observers]. The major [team is from] the Carter Observation Center plus others from the Arab League, the African Union and the EU [European Union],” Waziri said.
The electoral commission recently extended the deadline for nominations after candidates said they did not have enough time to prepare.
Opposition parties have accused incumbent President Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) of planning to persuade the electoral commission to rig the vote - - a charge the electoral commission denies.