The votes have been counted and the results have been posted for the April 13-16 national elections in Sudan. Despite a wide-scale elections boycott, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his National Congress Party are claiming victory and a mandate for continued rule in the troubled East African nation.
Voting was extended to address low voter turnout and problems in distributing ballot materials in some locations. But with many candidates dropping out of the races to protest restrictions on campaigning and the government’s backtracking on an agreement to hold a national dialogue with the armed and unarmed opposition along with civil society to address the underlying causes of internal conflicts, turnout was reported to be low even as voting stretched into afourth day.
The United States and its Troika partners Norway and the United Kingdom regret the Government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment. Restrictions on political rights and freedoms -- counter to the rights enshrined in the Sudanese Constitution -- the lack of a credible national dialogue, and the continuation of armed conflict in Sudan’s peripheries, are among the reasons for the reported low participation and very low voter turnout.
The outcome of these elections cannot be considered a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people.
We condemn the acts of violence during the election period and continue to support those Sudanese who wish to peacefully advance a comprehensive and legitimate political process of dialogue toward an end to the conflict, meaningful governance reform, and long-term stability.