Kufuor says AU is neutral in Sudan elections

Accra- Ghana (PANA) â" Ghana's former President Jo-hn Agyekum Kufuor, who is hea ding the African Union (AU) Observer Mission in Sudan's elections said on Monday that the continental body was neutral in the vote stressing that it did not favo u r any of the contesting political parties.
The AU's interest, he said, was the smooth conduct of the elections to help retu rn Africaâ?s largest country to peace and stability.
A statement issued in Accra by the Office of the former president said he was sp eaking on Monday at a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after t he first stakeholders' meeting of the mission.
Sudan goes to the polls from 11-13 April for the first time in more than 25 year s to elect a President and a 450-member National Assembly.
Kufuor said: â?I should state from the onset that we are here as impartial and neutral election observers who do not owe any allegiance to any of the contendin g parties.
â?Our job is to observe the conduct of the elections in accordance with the AUâ ?s Declaration Principles Governing Elections in Africa.
â?At the end of the elections, we are expected to determine if it was conducted in accordance with the constitution and laws of Sudan.
â?We will also determine the credibility of the whole electoral process in term s of the provision of a level playing field to all parties in their access to th e media, movement and freedom of choice.
â? The 50-member AU mission includes national electoral commissions, members of the Pan-African Parliament, members of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the AU and civil society organizations.
The European Union, the Arab League and the Carter Centre are among internationa l bodies that have sent observer missions.

05 april 2010 20:39:00

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