On the eve of the elections, a new report by the Rift Valley Institute explains Sudan’s electoral system, analyses errors in constituency demarcation and warns of potential obstacles to the electoral process. The report highlights the strengths and shortcomings of the new system and its effects on the distribution of power in Sudan.
View the report here:
Electoral Designs: Proportionality, representation and constituency boundaries in Sudan’s 2010 elections.
The report, by Oxford researcher Marc Gustafson, analyses government documents to reveal deficiencies in the demarcation of electoral districts. “Among the most crucial tasks for the National Elections Commission,” the report states, “has been the demarcation of constituency boundaries.” Errors and ambiguities in defining the boundaries, it argues, pose serious challenges to the success of the elections.
In addition to analyzing the demarcation of constituencies, the report also explains how power will likely be divided in Sudan’s National Assembly. Using graphs and tables, the report explains how the new design will work, how it can be exploited and which parties and regions will likely benefit from it. Other issues explored in the report include the logistical challenges of distributing ballots, the proportional allocation of seats in the National Assembly and some contextual analysis of electoral designs throughout Africa. Lastly, the report offers recommendations to assist election officials and national and international observers, particularly in limiting electoral manipulation.
“Electoral Designs” is the second in a series of reports on electoral processes in Sudan published by the Rift Valley Institute. The first, Elections in Sudan: Learning from Experience, a historical study of Sudanese elections by Justin Willis, Atta el”Battahani and Peter Woodward, was published in 2009.