April 28, 2010

Voting in east Sudan.

A short film captures the voting action in different towns in east Sudan. Silent for the first 20 seconds. A complete description accompanies the video on the you tube site.

April 22, 2010

Election- International Commentary

Here's a collection of articles reporting on the Sudan election. They describe the general sense of how well the elections went.


April 20, 2010

Election- stuffing votes caught on video?

UPDATE- Friday, April 23. Sudan has blocked youtube.com from Sudan, and these videos below are no longer available to be viewed in Sudan.

Original post.
Reuter news agency reported on a video that showed the stuffing of ballot boxes in the Red Sea State.

Examples were given of situations where there was no overnight control of the ballot boxes. Counts were then very high for the NCP, even exceeding the number of votes cast.


The video has been seen 13,000 times in the first day.

A second video shows the process more clearly.

A third video also shows what is going on.

Reposted here:

KHARTOUM, April 20 (Reuters) - A video appearing to show elections officials stuffing ballot boxes in Sudan has been posted on the Internet and the opposition said on Tuesday it proved their case that the ruling party had rigged the polls.

The National Elections Commission dismissed the video as a fake and said it had received no complaints.

The video, entitled "Sudan's elections debacle in the Red Sea state" appears to show elections officials, in regulation orange vests and traditional eastern Sudanese clothes, stuffing ballots into boxes locked with distinctive orange seals.

Read it all.

Election- Al Mirghani speaks out

 The DUP has considerable strength in regions across Sudan. One regional base is in Kassala.

The DUP failed to make any gains in areas considered to be its strongholds with large
populations of the Al-Khatmiya religious sect who are followers of Al-Mirghani, fuelling
suspicions that the votes were rigged.

"The fears of the party were confirmed over the non-readiness and partiality of the NEC and its
branches in the different states.... the electoral commission is not neutral," Al-Mirghani said.

DUP leader Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani today issued a
strong statement calling for holding of new elections at all levels saying that the current process
"is exposed to fraud and rigging".

Al-Mirghani said that the elections held in the country "did not reflect the [will of] the Sudanese
people, and it is far from being free and fair elections".

In his statement today, Al-Mirghani said that the DUP was aware of the difficulties and
impediments facing the elections but that it believed that its participation would be a step
towards democratic transformation and peaceful exchange of power.

As monitored in UNMIS media monitoring reports, April 19, 2010, from a Sudan Tribune article.

Election(?) - Shooting in Kassala

Al-Intibaha reports that a NCP agent for constituency (4) in Kassala Murtada Salah survived an
attempt on his life when unknown gunmen fired at him. The incident is reported to Kassala
police and is being investigated.

UNMIS media monitoring report - March 19, 2010

Election- Beja Congress candidates

Bashir and the National Congress Party have been reelected to govern Sudan.

There seem to be numerous irregularities in the voting.

Taher Ali, a candidate from the Democratic Congress for East Sudan, told Reuters he had traveled to Khartoum to complain about numerous irregularities.

"In one voting center, the box with my votes had 600 ballot papers less than the other boxes and of those 485 were spoiled ... only 17 of the NCP's were spoiled," said Ali who was beaten to a seat in the national assembly by the NCP's current interior minister."

"Our people are furious - they want to go out onto the streets," he said. "We are trying to calm them."

Where's the tribal solidarity?
According to official results in one Red Sea state constituency, the NCP candidate won almost 18,000 votes compared to just 839 for the eastern party.

One seat in a local assembly
East Sudan's Beja Congress party, which is formally allied with the NCP, told Reuters it had only managed to win one seat in a local assembly in Red Sea state, but none in the national parliament.

"We caught them (the NCP) emptying ballot boxes and they expelled our monitors from the voting centres during voting and counting," Abdullah Moussa, a senior Beja Congress official in Port Sudan, told Reuters.

"We won this one (state assembly seat) only because it is a small area -- one family and the young boys managed to guard many voting centres with small weapons at night," he said.

The story was published in the Washington Post.

The original Reuters article

April 14, 2010

Election news blackout in Eritrea

[Ballot for selecting the president of Sudan]

Eritrea is not allowing Sudan election news to be published. This news blackout keeps the Eritrean people from knowing about democracy and elections in Sudan.

If President Afwerki allows news, then the people may call for elections in Eritrea. Afwerki has been in power since Eritrea declared independence in 1993, and there have been no elections since then.

Afwerki could try to tell the people that the elections in Sudan are corrupt, or misguided. But there are observers from many sources like the UN, the European Union, and the USA that are trying to ensure that the elections are free and fair.

Read the whole analysis.

April 13, 2010

Election: Beja supporters kidnapped

Khartoum, Sudan - A Sudanese political party, the Beja Congress, said Monday its supporters and party agents were kidnapped at gunpoint hours after elections kicked off in Sudan’s presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections.

Ibrahim Al Dab, the candidate for the Beja Congress, said the party agents were kidnapped at a polling station in Dalgeik polling centre, in the Red Sea State.

The parliamentary candidate said in an interview with the UN-funded Radio Miraya, that unknown gunmen stormed the Dalgeik polling station and kidnapped representatives of the opposition party.

The incident forced some independent candidates running for various posts to withdraw from the elections last-minute.

The credibility of the elections has been smeared by the boycott of the major political parties, although about 56 political parties were initially expected to vie for posts.

The Sudanese elections have been marred by reports of vote fraud.

The Sudanese voters have gone to the polls to elect a president for the country, 25 state governors and several members of parliament, to sit at the national parliament and state and regional parliaments, including the 271 members for the Southern Sudan assembly.

The country’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) admitted that it had been overwhelmed with the electoral process in Sudan, due to lack of experience.

The Beja Congress Party said its candidates also experienced widespread fraud and duplication of ballot papers.

It also alleged that some voters were unable to vote properly due to the complex process involved in having each voter cast their votes.

It is estimated that the 14 million voters registered to vote in the elections would require more time to cast their votes.

The elections were due to last three days but a campaign is underway to have the voting period extended by at least four more days.

Election observers said it took more than 30 minutes for each voter to cast his vote due to the complexity of the process.

The elections have recorded a higher voter turnout in areas dominated by the supporters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), the party sponsoring incumbent President Omar el-Bashir.

Khartoum - Pana 13/04/2010

April 12, 2010

Election- Violence in Red Sea State

Violence in Red Sea state on first day of polling
Radio Miraya 12/4/10 - the first polling day in the Red Sea State witnessed several irregularities, procedural problems and disputes. According to Beja Congress candidate for the Haya constituency, Ibrahim Al Dab, unknown men with light arms stormed into the polling center in Dalgeik area and kidnapped representatives of opposition party members stationed at the center. The Red Sea State High Elections Committee has also decided to withdraw and suspend the candidates list for the NCP in constituency five Port Sudan East, because two candidates had conflicting symbols in ballot papers. Moreover, several party representatives alleged to Radio Miraya that the NCP is using forged residency certificates. There were also allegations of ballot papers being swapped between Port Sudan constituencies eight and nine and that the papers of NCP's independent candidate for constituency nine, were duplicated. Generally, the turnout of citizens at the polling centers differed from one area to another. Centers in Al Diom East and areas dominated by NCP supporters recorded a high turnout, while fewer voters turned out at the centers in Al Diom South area, an area where many residents support pro-boycotting political parties like the SPLM and the Umma party. Logistic hiccups
plagued the first day of elections in Red Sea State with many voters confused by the complicated procedures and duplication in ballot papers taking an estimated 30 minutes to complete the voting process, leading to congestion in most polling centers.

source: UNMIS media monitoring report - April 12, 2010

April 6, 2010

New dam for Kassala District

President Al Bashir to Attend Signing of Contract for Establishment of Upper Atbara and Setet Bridges
Khartoum - SUNA
President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al Bashir, is due to attend Tuesday at the Friendship Hall a ceremony for the signing of a contract for implementing the projects of Upper Atbara and Setet bridges, in the presence of ministers,

Walis (Governors) of states and officials of Gedarif and Kassala States

The Minister and Executive Director of the Dams Implementation Unit, Usama Abdalla, said that establishment of the two bridges are aimed to enhance the citizens' living conditions, settlement of the nomads and increasing the water quantity at Atbara River, providing water for irrigating New Halfa Agricultural Scheme and Upper Atbara Scheme which extends to 500,000 feddans and producing 135 megawatts of electricity power. He said that the cost of implementing the two dams is 868 million dollars. 


Grasshoppers expected in western USA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found an unusually high number of grasshoppers in its annual survey of the flying grass-eaters last fall. If the weather is warm in the coming weeks, the countless eggs laid by the grasshopper could turn into an epic infestation across Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota.

source - Christian Science Monitor. Read it all.

April 2, 2010

Aid agencies in Kassala state

Get this chart [pdf] and discover what agencies are at work in Kassala state.

Quick look at the chart at the bottom of the OCHA document. Click to enlarge.