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Sudan Election Vote Counting Begins Friday

President Omar al-Bashir casts his ballot as he runs for another term, on the first day of the presidential and legislative elections, in Khartoum, Sudan, April 13, 2015.

Vote counting in Sudan’s April 13 presidential and parliamentary elections is expected to commence Friday.

National Electoral Commission chair Professor Mukhtar al-Assam said preliminary results will be announced immediately at each polling station and final results are expected on April 27.

Most leading opposition parties boycotted the vote. Al-Assam said it is unlikely there will be a second round because President Omar al-Bashir is the “most famous” among the candidates.

“If nobody gets 50 percent of the vote, we are going to run a second round between the two who would get the majority of votes. But it is very unlikely because President Bashir is the most famous among those who are participating, There is a great chance that he will get more 50 percent,” Al-Assam said.

“All the polling stations were closed by 7 P.M. tonight (Thursday). Tomorrow morning (Friday) we will start counting, and the results will be announced immediately in each polling station. The total results are going to be announced on April 27,” he said.

The African Union’s poll observer mission said it saw low voter turnout in polling stations it visited, but added that the mission said the election reflected an "expression of the will" of Sudanese voters.

Al-Assam downplayed the poor turnout report.

“Well, you can’t say this now until we count the number of the percentage of voter registration which was around 45 and 50 percent. We expect to be near that figure,” he said.

The elections, which were supposed to last for three days were extended to a fourth day Thursday. Al-Assam denied the extension was a reflection of poor planning by the electoral commission.

“If you take the election of 2010, polling continued for five days and this election of 2015 was only four days. So the polling days were less. But in the previous election of 2010, there five consecutive days,” Al-Assam said.

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