West Unhappy About the Elections: What Do Others Say?

By: Aisha Braima

Khartoum (Sudanow) - In what may be seen as a parroting of the U.S position that earlier refused to send observers to monitor the Sudanese presidential and parliamentary elections, the EU now issues a statement vilifying the elections which were recognized, even praised, by many a conscientious observing body as satisfactory to international standards.

The EU Troika, in its statement, said the elections were not run in a free and fair atmosphere, citing what it called the restrictions on the political rights and the continuing armed conflict in the country.

The West, that seeks to marginalize and weaken the nations that refuse to obey its dictation, is under the illusion that its boycotting of elections in certain countries is the end of the World. But the nations, thanks to cumulative knowledge and bitter experiences, had come to be conscious of their interests and resist or, else, keep a
low profile according to their own needs, without any form of surrender.

In retrospect, multitudes of journalists and observers had poured into the country to cover the 2010 general elections not out of the view that they will be fair and democratic, but simply in pursuit of an
objective the West had been working for since the middle of the 20th Century and that was the separation of South Sudan from the rest of the country.

That objective had, unfortunately, been achieved. But the current elections did not mean anything to them. For them, what remained of Sudan could go any direction it chooses, save the course of stability and development.

The presence of China and Russia-such two strong international poles- in the monitoring of the elections- had embarrassed the West that shunned the process under repeated excuses that the conflicts in the country should be stopped first. They seem to ignore the fact that the war, any war, occurs between two parties, not a single one.

The participation of the African Union in the monitoring of the elections, despite outcries from the West, constitutes a strong reply to the habitual Western behavior in such circumstances that harmed and continues to harm many countries around the World.

The IGAD group, though a well-placed entity in the AU which monitored the elections, had insisted to monitor the process on its own in order to see how credible it is.

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation was here also and so was the common market of the Eastern and Southern African states, COMESA.

Arab League ambassador Salah Halima
Arab League ambassador Salah Halima

All these groupings were present, except the West that chose to isolate itself from such an important event in such an important country.

Those who follow developments in the Sudan hope that the elections outcome could constitute a gateway for a new outlook for governance in Sudan, particularly if we understand that the electorate, despite the
hurdles and mistakes that accompanied the process, had turned out in reasonable numbers in recognition of the sensitivity of the situation and the hazards that could face the country if the elections were not
held and a constitutional vacuum ensued.

The turned out in these elections- for objective and personal reasons, irrespective of their own reservations about the performance of some executive and legislative bodies- they came out in those numbers with the hope that the initiative for national dialogue, led by President Bashir, could continue and bear fruit.

A quick glance at the foreign entities that monitored the elections and what they said about the process poses the question: Is the testimony of these observers valueless in the eyes of the Western countries which, ironically, conceded that they had overlooked the violations of the 2010 elections just to allow the implementation of
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to take its planned course.

The head of the Chinese monitoring mission, Ambassador Tchang Chin had concluded that the election process was transparent, peaceful and in keeping with international specifications. He said the polling centers
he had toured were well organized in a manner that allowed voters to cast their ballots in complete freedom. Citing the Eh statement the criticized the elections, the Chinese diplomat urged countries of the World to respect international laws and conventions and not to
interfere in the affairs of others.

He said the election is a domestic affair that concerns the people of Sudan and that '' we categorically reject intervention in other peoples' affairs.''

Chief of the Russian mission Paris Evtic expressed '' complete satisfaction'' over the balloting process. He said elections had been proceeding according to international standards and ''we did not notice anything contrary to that.''


In a press statement the Russian Envoy expressed his surprise over the EU position on the elections. He said his delegation had met with other foreign monitoring missions during the process who told them that the elections were proceeding peacefully and smoothly " The attitude of those monitors was positive about the election process,''
he said.

The Arab League mission said the election process had proceeded '' in a good manner, in complete peace and transparency and without any violations.''

Former Nigerian President Obasanjo, who headed the AU monitoring mission, said the elections were proceeding in a good manner and transparent, expressing the hope that they could pave the way for
'' a dialogue among Sudanese that leads to durable peace.''
The Arab League's Ambassador to Sudan Salah Halima said his group had dispatched 40 monitors who were distributed over 17 locations around the country to watch the process.

Ambassador Al- Hussein Malool, chief of the Sahil and Sahara (SEN-SAD) regional group described the Sudanese elections as '' an example to be followed in Africa.'' He expected many African states to benefit from the Sudanese experiment. He said SEN- SAD was concerned about the progress of democracy in Africa.

The IGAD Mission Chief, Dr. Mahmoud Abdullah had expressed his satisfaction over the election process '' that went on quite peacefully in all the polling centers we toured in Khartoum State''

Chairman of the Arab Parliamentary Union Mohammed Ahmad Al-Jurwan had said '' the election process now underway in Sudan is proceeding in a good manner '', indicating the easy election procedures
Mission of the World Alliance on Rights and Liberties, headed by Professor David Hoile, said it had inspected the election process in the towns of Damazine and Rossairis in the Blue Nile State and noticed a remarkable turn out, in particular among women.


The international election monitoring mission, chaired by Nasir Abdulkarim, said it had watched the elections in the states of South and North Kordufan and noticed that all procedures and regulations put by the National Elections Commission were followed to the letter and that the elections' personnel had provided all the necessary services
for the voters.

Mr. Ali Tahir Jija, chairman of the Nigerian Independent Commission, indicated the existence of '' good arrangements'' in the centers they toured. He said the voters were casting their ballots '' without
dictation from anyone'' Mr. Jinja has indicated the ''good training and professionalism '' of the election personnel and '' the neutrality of monitors and the good security arrangements'' in the ballot centers.

Delegation of the Arab Youth Council has reaffirmed '' the fairness and neutrality '' of the Sudanese elections when they visited polling stations in Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North.

Council delegate Abdullah Abdullatif, from Libya, said the Arab and African youth would like to tell the Westerners that their rejection of election process in Sudan was ''unsavory'' and '' a reminder of the colonial era.''

He said the region's communities are '' committed to the democratic option as the only viable instrument for the peaceful exchange of power.''

However, he said they had noted the lack of adequate training amongst some of the election personnel which was reflected on insufficient knowledge about the election procedure among some voters.

Nevertheless, he said, we had noted good security at the polling centers.
Arab Youth Council member Mohammad Ali, a Lebanese, indicated '' a good balloting environment '' in the centers they visited in Khartoum State, citing that the mistakes they encountered were ''normal''.

EU logo
EU logo

Rifga Ibrahim, from Tunisia, said they had come from all over Africa to watch the elections and found them to be ''unique'' despite the negative propaganda about them. She said the balloting had progressed in a natural and transparent manner and that the voter is able to cast his vote in complete seclusion and without any pressure.

Council Member, Mr. Aba Yanthir, from Nigeria, said the elections were held in an atmosphere of peace and that the voters came to the polling centers on their own free will.

Mr. Sirjil Togahama, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, indicated the small number of some voters in some centers '' but they continue to turn out throughout the day.'' He said they had noticed long lines
of voters in some centers .He also noted the careful arrangements in the centers, considering the delay in the arrival of ballot boxes in some centers as ''normal'' and praised the quick response of the
elections cadres to remedy such problems. "The elections were conducted in a high degree of fairness and had proceeded in a good atmosphere,'' he concluded.

Mr. Omar Al-Farouq, the chairman of the East Africa Journalists Union, said the elections were fair and free. "I have noticed, during my tour of the voting centers that the people were eager to vote and everybody
was keen about that. That is their right.''

In conclusion this writer would like to say that by the peaceful ending of this election process, without any bloody clashes, and the acceptance of the elections results, it could be said that the Sudanese had wanted to move forward towards the interests and well-being of their country.

It is our hope that the government and the opposition should benefit from the outcome of this experiment for a better future of the country.


Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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