Sudan’s ruling party says it will win polls

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- Sudan’s governing party, the National Congress Party (NCP), exuded confidence here Wednesday, just a day before the extended period of polling comes to an end.
Chairman of the NCP technical committee, Dr.
Togelsir Mustafa, told PANA in an exclusive interview that the party was certain of retaining the presidency and majority seats in the national assembly despite the stiff challenge posed by multi-party democracy.
“The party expects to win.
It has been active for the past two years during which it put in place structures and necessary machinery in anticipation of competitive polls,” Mustafa said.
The tallying and collation of the results will start Friday and the final result is expected to be announced a week later, according a revised calendar released by NEC on Tuesday.
Mustafa, a former minister for trade, however, conceded that the party, like the others gunning for power, had initially been doubtful whether the polls would take place at all, given the political atmosphere that had been poisoned by international pressure on the government to douse the conflicts in the south and Darfur province in the west.
The conflict in Darfur, which precipitated the displacement of 2.
6 million and death of more than 300,000 people, is a controversial issue between Khartoum and the international community.
Speaking at a separate press conference, Khartoum State Governor, Dr.
Abdurhman Ahmed Ekhdir, said the party, led by incumbent, President Omar Hassan el-Bashir, would not stand in the way of democracy.
“We want to see the democratization process to the end.
We are sure we are not going to be an obstacle to democratic change,” Ahmed said.
The stability of Sudan, the party officials said, depended on tolerance and mutual concessions.
"If we win, we are not going to provoke our opponents.
Likewise, if our opponents win, they should not provoke us.
We want to pray together in churches and mosques as peace forms the foundation of this nation.
" Sudan is coming through an election, although fraught with many logistical challenges, that has been largely peaceful.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) estimated on Tuesday that voter turnout should be between 56 and 60 per cent.
Khartoum deputy Governor, Mr.
Muhmad Mundor Elhahdi, said the governing party expected overall voter turnout to surpass 80 per cent mark on the final days of voting.
“The election was preceded by intensive civic education that has aroused voter interest around the country,” Mundor said.
Sudan has not held an election since 1986 and to most voters, the ongoing polls is a new experience they never expected in their life time.
However, the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement signed between the north and south, which had been at war for two decades, made multi-party elections prerequisite for the guns to remain permanently silent.

14 april 2010 18:27:00

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