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Poll boycott threatens Sudan peace process

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Poll boycott threatens Sudan peace process


A mass boycott of Sudan’s elections by main opposition parties has raised fears for the future of the country’s faltering peace process.

With voting due to start on April 11, the credibility of the presidential, parliamentary and municipal polls now looks seriously compromised.

Concerns over electoral irregularities and insecurity had already prompted the withdrawal of the main presidential challenger. The absence of Yassir Arman and now many other major candidates and parties from all or part of the polls deals a severe blow to the process.

Sudan’s first multi-party elections in years are central to the implementation of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war.

Incumbent President Omar Hassan al-Bashir now looks sure to be re-elected. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur. The United Nations estimates that as many as 300,000 people have died in the western region’s humanitarian crisis.

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