Sudanâ?s ruling party takes early lead in presidential polls

Khartoum- Sudan, (PANA) -- President Omar Hassan el-Bashir got off to a promising start as the counting of the presidential poll count began, posting margins of b etween 85 and 95 per cent in election centres in and around the capital Khartoum .
With National Electoral Commission saying the final result will not be announced until next Friday, it is too early to make any predictions, but a University of Khartoum lecturer, Mr.
Mutasim Elonour Brahim, predicted landslide win for Bashi r , saying the other 11 candidates who ran against him were relative novices.
â?The National Congress Party was very organized in the countdown to the polls, while the other parties did not have a foothold in national politics.
They also lacked a sound financial backing to upset the incumbent, who has been very visib l e to the masses,â? said Brahim, a former director of the United Nations centre f or information and documentation, in Arusha, Tanzania.
He said the opposition support was undermined when the 13 of the 20 parties anno unced they would boycott the elections, â?which precipitated disinterestâ?.
However, as NCP looked headed for resounding victory, opposition parties critici zed the tallying process, saying the ballot papers were faulty as they did not h a ve counterfoils that could be used to tick out illegitimate votes.
At Mlazimin Primary School polling station in North Omdurman, el-Bashir had pull ed away with 513, compared to the combined total of his rivalsâ? 34 votes.
It wa s a similar scenario at Sauro Girls School, some 100 kilometres north of the cap i tal, where the president was in pole position over 400 votes out of the 683 vote s cast.
His closest rival, the Sudan Peopleâ?s Liberation Movement (SPLM) candidate, De ng Niang, had won only four votes as election officials took a break from the se a ring desert heat that had soared to 46 degrees Celsius later afternoon.
The wide margins posted by the president has been queried by Dr.
Saddiq Alhadi e l Mahdi, who is running for the Democrtatic unionist party (DUP).
His agent, Ms Sidiga Sherrif, said the election was fraught with serious anomali es, but there was no mechanism through which the party could successfully appeal against the outcome.
â?There are too many mistakes, but we cannot complain because election has been poorly organized and ran,â? Sherrif, a cousin to the DUP candidate, said.
Mahdi is a descendant of the great Mahdi lineage credited with Sudanâ?s indepen dence and whose father, Saddiq el Mahdi, was ousted by the army from power in 19 8 6.
In Bahri District in Khartoum North, Bashir claimed 93 per cent of the 1,075 vot es cast at Hamza Yusuf Primary School.
The dispute of the auntheticity of the ballot papers aside, the tallying has gen erally been uneventful apart from an occasional truck of NCP supporters preparin g for their candidates' victory.

16 april 2010 16:04:00

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