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Opposition considers boycotting upcoming elections

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-03-31

Ten days ahead of presidential, legislative and municipal polls, a major political crisis is looming in Sudan as opposition parties denounce an unfair election and consider boycotting the "disaster" vote unless it is postponed until November.

AFP- Going ahead with Sudan's elections in April as planned would be a "disaster", opposition groups warned on Wednesday at they sought to delay until November the country's first multi-party vote in 24 years.

"If there is an election, it will be a disaster for Sudan," said Faruk Abu Issa, spokesman for a coalition of opposition groups, after a meeting in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.

Sudan is due to hold presidential, legislative and municipal polls April 11-13 but opposition groups say the conditions for a free and fair election are not in place. They say insecurity in war-torn Darfur, in western Sudan, will also prevent participation of the voters there.

"We stress the importance of postponing the elections until November in order to hold free and fair elections... We don't want ceremonial elections which will cause more problems for Sudan," said Mariam al-Mahdi from the Umma party.

Opposition presidential candidates are due to meet on Thursday in Omdurman to decide on whether they will boycott the election.

Some opposition parties have expressed their willingness to field candidates in April's election, while former rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement said they would join the election process in south Sudan and in some border regions but not across the country.

The SPLM's politburo was to meet on Wednesday in Juba, south Sudan's capital, to discuss the situation, sources said.
 

Date created : 2010-03-31

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