News / Africa

US Envoy Trying to Salvage Sudan Election Process

U.S. Sudan envoy Scott Gration is meeting government and opposition officials in Khartoum, trying to salvage the country's troubled election process. Opposition candidates say they will boycott the country's upcoming presidential election.

Officials here say Gration is in Sudan on a rescue mission for what are supposed to be the African country's first multi-party elections since 1986.

Gration left Washington earlier this week amid signs of an impending opposition boycott of the presidential voting due to begin April 11.

Since then, the SPLM, the ruling party of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan region said it was dropping out of the race because of alleged vote-rigging by the National Congress Party of President Omar al-Bashir.

Three other opposition parties said Thursday they have also withdrawn. This month's election is a critical part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord, the CPA, intended to resolve Sudan's long-running north-south conflict.

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley suggested that Gration still believes the election can be salvaged, calling the political situation in Khartoum fluid and saying the announced decisions by the opposition groups are not necessarily final.

"Our goal is to produce as competitive an election as possible. We recognize that this is a difficult environment. These are complex and difficult issues," he said. "Sudan hasn't done this in a while. But we're aware of the issue, we're looking into it, we're working with the parties. We want to see full implementation of the CPA. But I just don't want to specifically say that what might be occurring at one moment is necessarily  going to be the definitive, final answer," said Crowley.

Crowley said the presidential election is a major step toward the referendum to be held next year on the political future of southern Sudan, and that getting it right will be a big advance for both the north and south.

A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters said a boycott would not be in the long-term interests of Sudan's opposition parties, though he said he was not minimizing their complaints about the process.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group Tuesday also accused the ruling National Congress Party of trying to rig the elections, saying the NCP has drafted election laws in its favor and that flawed census data had been used to set up electoral districts.

Human rights groups have said the ruling party is intimidating and attacking opponents.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere urged all Sudanese parties to work urgently to ensure that the April elections can proceed peacefully and credibly.

The three officials expressed deep concern about what they termed continuing administrative and logistical challenges to the voting, as well as restrictions on political freedoms.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid