Sudan: NGO denounces intimidation and delays by NEC ahead of crucial polls

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An international NGO in Sudan ,The Carter Center, is not happy with the way Voters’ registration is being handled by Sudan National Election Commission. The Carter Center, is one of the leading international NGOs involved in the observation of the current voter registration process that started four days ago.

The Carter Center Deputy Director for Democracy, Sudan Program, Mister. Aly Verjee said the National Election Commission has not accredited most observers while others have been denied access to some registration centers.

Aly Verjee said, “We urge the Elections Commission to resolve the question of accreditation without delay. It is also important that the Election Commission lifts the geographic limitation and restrictions that observers face so that they can effectively do their job. These are steps that we feel the Elections Commission can take very quickly.

In terms of the greater political environment, there are obviously certain things that take sometimes, we are encouraging both the Government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan, the political parties within the governments and outside to take every step that’s possible to address the concerns that we’d raised; about political freedoms, about the situation in Darfur, about enfranchisement of all Sudanese. And we hope that although the process might take sometime but there is some progress towards more inclusive and a more fair place.”

Verjee said that they were not contented over the slow implementation of the electoral process, intimidation of observers and delayed release of funds to various states elections committees by the National Election Commission.

Khartoum government and semi autonomous Southern Sudan government agreed to hold elections, the first in the last 24 years since they signed a Comprenhesive Peace agreement after over 20 years of civil war.

Southern Sudan has complained that Khartoum is using tricks to defranchise some southern Sudanese, especially what it deems a deliberate exclusion of nine states — that border Sudan especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo where many South Sudanese refugees live — from taking part in the voters’ registration exercise.

30 international observers from different countries are involved in the process of observing voters’ registering exercise.

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