Sudan's 'historic' vote gets underway

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Sudan's 'historic' vote gets underway

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Confusion, delays and accusations of fraud have marred Sudan’s first multi-party elections for 25 years. The poll has gone ahead despite partial boycotts and calls by the opposition to delay the vote.

Opinion polls suggest the three-day election will ensure the country’s incumbent president, who came to power in a military coup will remain at his post along with Salva Kirr Mayardit, the president of the semi-autonamous government of south Sudan.

He said: “Well, I have never voted in my life. This is my first time to vote and it is a good beginning that Sudan is going back to democracy.”

More than 800 international observers are there to monitor the voting system, among them, former US President Jimmy Carter.

“I think all the participating parties – even those who are withdrawing from a national level – I think they want to see a peaceful transition and peace in this country,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any party threatening any sort of disturbance, or violence or intimidation of voters.”

The opposition claims the National Election Commission is biased in favour of the government.

The number of polling stations nationwide has been cut in half from 20,000 making voting difficult in rural areas.