Sudan: Reports on the Elections
The Carter Center issued an assessment of the electoral process in Sudan today, concluding that the elections are generally proceeding well, but there are shortcomings in terms of the candidates’ ability to campaign freely and the National Election Commission’s logistical preparations for the vote, including a lack of voter education.
The advocacy group IDP Action released a report last week exploring how Sudanese IDPs (including Darfurians, southerners in the north, and southern IDPs in the south) have not been properly represented in the process of counting the population and registering voters. It fears widespread disenfranchisement and consequent grievance and instability.
However, the report concludes, “IDP Action considers the holding of the elections in all areas apart from Darfur to be a least-worse option, given the value in democratising the present non-elected National Assembly and the importance of adhering as much as possible to the CPA timetable of a referendum on unity or secession of the south in 2011. Before that referendum goes ahead, it is vital that under-representation of southerners, especially IDPs, in both south and north Sudan is addressed so that the referendum can be carried out under conditions of greater legitimacy.”
Meanwhile, the Save Darfur Coalition is calling on its supporters to “˜help raise awareness’ about the election (in the U.S.). It has a list of ideas for what Americans can do to ‘raise awareness’. Save Darfur recently had a delegation in Sudan and invites its members and supporters to write to President Obama in support of its position:
No legitimacy for Bashir: We need President Obama and our elected leaders to send a message to the world that they will not recognize the results of an illegitimate electoral process, and will not permit a fugitive of the International Criminal Court to legitimize his brutal dictatorship.