Obama envoy to present preliminary report on Sudanese vote

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- The US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, is due to present a report on the presidential elections in Sudan after observing two days of voting, marred by widespread fraud and missing voter registers, a US State Department official said in Washington on Tuesday.
Gration was expected to leave Sudan ahead of the record five-day long Presidential vote to present his report to the American authorities.
The US State Department officials, who had earlier said the US government would have supported a brief delay of the elections, hailed the Sudanese authorities for conducting the polls, despite the flaws.
US State Department Spokesman, Philip Crowely, said the US Special envoy to Sudan was on his way to Washington to present his assessment report on the conduct of the elections.
The European Union observers in Sudan gave the presidential, parliamentary and governorship vote in Northern Sudan a clear approval, but warned that major flaws were experienced in Southern Sudan.
Crowley said the US was not surprised by the irregularities that had been reported in the first two days of voting.
The Sudanese National Electoral Commission (NEC) said it was extending the voting by two more days to compensate for the problems that most voters experienced in the first two days of the vote.
The majority of voters in Southern Sudan, including President of the regional government, Salva Kiir, welcomed the vote, saying it was a clear sign that Sudan’s future could be characterized by a peaceful change of government, not by coups.
Sudanese President Hassan Omar Al Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup, days after the military had warned government against ceding more ground to Southern rebels who were rapidly advancing against government-controlled locations in the country’s Southern region.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) fought the Khartoum-based government for 21 years before signing a peace accord in January, 2005, which required the holding of presidential elections after six years to endorse Sudan’s shift from an army-controlled government to a civilian administration.
President Al Bashir, expected to sail to easy victory after the presidential elections, is seen as a compromise candidate by the Southern Sudanese, whose main agenda is to secure independence.
The US State Department said the holding of the elections was a key step towards the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which the US helped to negotiate.
US officials said it was still too early to comment fully on the conduct of the elections.
The US does not have an accredited ambassador to Sudan.

13 april 2010 15:53:00

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