Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sudan: Lesser of two evils

Five years ago a peace treaty ended two decades of civil war in Sudan. It envisaged free elections which would prompt "democratic transformation". These are due to take place in 10 days' time. What they have created instead, according to the International Crisis Group, is a manipulated census, crooked voter registration, gerrymandered electoral districts and bought tribal loyalties.

On Thursday night the five political parties that constitute the main opposition said they would boycott the poll, a day after south Sudan's leading party, the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), withdrew its candidate Yasir Arman. If the opposition parties remain out of the race, the election, the first multi-party contest since 1986, would lose its credibility. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir needs that legitimacy, not least to fend off indictments on charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur by the international criminal court. After some western election observers advised the government to postpone the vote, Bashir threatened to cut their fingers off. He also threatened the SPLM that if they withdrew completely from the vote, he would torpedo their forthcoming referendum on independence, which is another requirement of the 2005 peace treaty. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

No comments: