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Sudan: Nobody will ever know who really won the election

President Omar Al-Bashir was declared winner of the first multiparty elections in 24 years in Sudan. However, Muawia Abdel Karim argues in his blog post at Making Sense of Sudan that nobody will ever know who really won the election.

And Maggie Fick of Enough Project reports that the potential for post-election violence in South Sudan
remains.

Muawiaexplains why we will never know who really won the historic elections:

The counting of votes has been so chaotic that it is simply impossible to find out the true number of votes cast for each candidate. Every single check and balance that should be in place to allow the election observers to see which results are genuine and which are fraudulent have been bypassed. We don’t know how many books of ballots were distributed to each polling station, how many were used, and which voting tallies accord with which station. Most of the NEC staff who are tallying the votes are untrained, recruited just days ago with no experience at all! Some of them have to ask the observers for assistance because the observers know their job better than they do. The sheets with the totals have one number written in, rubbed out, overwritten again, time and again! It is so chaotic it is shameful! Every day the NEC instructs that there has to be another shortcut so that they can announce something. No wonder the Chairman of the NEC has washed his hands of all the thousands of complaints and told everyone to go to court instead. Anyone who harboured any doubts that the results are 100% set by political interests only had to see how Malik Agar won the Blue Nile for the SPLM! One day he was losing the count and telling the NCP that if he lost he would go back to war and demanding a recount. The next day the top brass of the NCP flew to Damazin and suddenly some forgotten ballot boxes appeared and Commander Agar suddenly was declared the victor! Those who had rigged the election in the first place shamelessly counter-rigged the next day.

Commenting on Muawia’s post, Khalid Yousif says:

Dear Muawia Abdel Karim,
I agree with you that the international community got the commodity of the 2011 referendum and the Sudanese paid the price. since the beginning the NEC was designed a tool to be manipulated by the NCP and intentionally it was set to be blamed as scape goat for the rigging at the end under the disguise of inexperience, technical problems and ill-preparations.

For the fist time since 1989 Khalid Yousif agrees with President Omar Al-Bashir:

Once Al-Bashir said if the US is pleased with what you are
doing thenthat means you are on the wrong track. This is the first time that I agree with him since 1989.

Another reader, Abd al-Wahab Abdalla, argues that Sudanese elections should remind us that the West is not an impartial referee:

Equally this election should at long last bury the canard that the western world is some kind of impartial referee, upholding universal standards. This is a kind of right-fetishism dearly nourished by those who have lost touch with the realities of power and the demands of political mobilization. This referee can blow his whistle as much as he likes and wave yellow cards to his heart’s content (he has no red cards) but the only one who will be fooled is the player who is flat on the pitch while play goes on. The western countries have their interests and they pursue them, and those who believe that they will set aside material and political objectives for the sake of a few slogans deserve only the wake-up call that has inexorably occurred.

Maggie Fick in a new field dispatch highlights political tensions underlying four races in South Sudan:

Ballots have been cast and counted in South Sudan, but the
potential for post-electoral violence still remains. The results of several hotly contested races for state governor have the potential to spark local violence and even broader conflict in the near future.

“If democracy was born in the West, it had certainly been buried in the jungles of Southern Sudan,” writes Black Kush:

In the election, the battle ground states were Central
Equatoria, Westen Equatoria and Unity States, where the independent
candidates were more popular than the SPLM candidates. People fee that
the SPLM official candidats are being force on them, and they turn to
show their disatisfaction by vooting for the independent candidates.

However, things have not turn out as expected. In Central Equatoria,
the incumbent SPLM Candidate got through as well as in Unity State.
The initial results show that the independents were leading, but due
to pressure, the State election officilas have to succumb to pressure
and announce the incumbents winners. Too bad for a fledgeling
democracy, if you can call it that. The SPLM seems determined to
ensure that their candidates get the positions, like their partners in
the North.
The citizens of Central Equatori feel that they have been robbed of a
leader, one who will safe them from misrule and corruption of the
incumbent. They will only have to look at their neighbour's luck with
longing.

South Sudan Info links to Election Statement released by the Sudanese Group for Democracy and Elections (SuGDE) and the Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections(SuNDE):

Together, SuGDE in the north and SuNDE in the south,
received more than 13500 reports from over 4300 trained and accredited
election observers who were deployed to over 2000 polling stations
across all of Sudan’s 25 states. Their observations are revealing and
are helpful in understanding the election process in both northern and
southern Sudan.

Hafiz Mohammed describes the area of South Kordofan as “the next electoral challenge” for Sudan:

According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and its Three Areas Protocol, which covers South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, ‘Popular Consultations’ in the first two and a referendum in the third, are supposed to be conducted in the last year of the interim period to determine the future status of those areas. While the Abyei referendum involves all residents casting their votes as to whether the district belongs in the north or the south, the ‘Popular Consultations’ are conducted by the two state legislative assemblies, on the question of whether the existing arrangements for a special,
quasi-autonomous status within northern Sudan, should continue. This provision is both weak and imprecise. In Blue Nile, the SPLM candidate Malik Aggar managed to win the governorship position of the state after a long drama, but the SPLM lost the State Legislative Assembly by winning just 18 out 48 seats, and that makes it difficult for them
to succeed in the Popular Consultation which will shape the future the state. The SPLM in South Kordofan succeed in getting a concession from the government which delayed the elections of the governor and the state legislative assembly, pending holding a new census and establishing a new voters register.

Finally, following the victory by Al-Bashir and his party, Oscar Blayton notes that the US foreign policy maybe coming into focus.

He argues that the US foreign policy favours an independent South Sudan:

A narrative in the U.S. media seems to be coming into focus. A narrative which I believe is intended to justify an “American Intervention” into the oil rich Southern Sudan in not too many years distant. It seemed curious that in the weeks prior to the election mainstream media in the U.S. began to concede Bashir’s probable win and to publicly state that the win would be legitimate “de-facto” if not “de-jure.”

The prevalent argument was: “Bashir will most certainly cheat in the election, but he would probably win without cheating.” This argument establishes Bashir as a “bad leader” while at the same time acknowledging that he is the people’s choice and nothing should be done in order to try to improve the fairness of the elections. Now that Bashir has won, the New York Times and other leaders among the Western media are announcing that his win has paved the way for a North / South split in Sudan. The argument has been spun in such a way as to declare: “Who can blame the Southern Sudanese for wanting their own country, the April elections were not fair.” A simple Google of the words “Bashir” and “split” will bring up several articles written in this tone.

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