Sudan: More Sudanese Political Parties Sign Electoral Code of Conduct

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A further 10 of Sudan’s political parties, as well as one grouping of political organizations, have adopted the Sudan Electoral Code of Conduct at a ceremony in Khartoum today witnessed by the head of the African Union Liaison Office in Sudan, Ambassador Mahmoud Kane.

The parties join sixteen other political parties, including the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP), as well as nine independent gubernatorial 10candidates of Southern Sudan, who have already signed code.

Under the code, electoral contestants undertake to abide by electoral laws, to promote a fair electoral contest, and to refrain from all forms of violence and obstruction of other contestants.

Parties in Government must also ensure that they do not use their access to official resources, including the state media, to obtain unfair electoral advantage for themselves or any other party, or to obstruct other parties.

The code of conduct will now formally be submitted to the National Elections Commission (NEC) by the Chairperson of the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), former South African President Thabo Mbeki. The code of conduct, which complements national electoral laws and the work of the NEC, establishes Political Parties Councils to look into complaints arising from breaches of the code. National and international election observers will also find the code an invaluable tool in their work.

The code will remain open for signature, at the AU’s Sudan offices, by any party or independent candidate. Any party or candidate who is unable to sign the code in person may instead make a public declaration consenting to be bound by the code.

In addition to the code, the parties also signed a Declaration of Common Commitments renewing their support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and for the attainment of peace, justice and reconciliation in Darfur.

The code and declaration were prepared by the AUHIP in consultation with Sudan’s political parties, in order to promote the highest standards of democratic practices during the elections and, more broadly, to facilitate peaceful political processes within Sudan.

The AUHIP was established to assist the Sudanese parties to implement the recommendations of the AU Panel on Darfur and to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other related processes within Sudan. In addition to its chair, the AUHIP also comprises former heads of state General Abdulsalami Abubaker of Nigeria and Pierre Buyoya of Burundi.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC)

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