Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) announced on Tuesday that 15 candidates will run for presidency in the elections scheduled in April, including incumbent Omer Hassan al-Bashir.
The NEC published the lists of candidates for all electoral levels and will begin accepting any challenges from the general public to any of the names.
Led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, the National Umma Party (NUP) and the winner of the parliamentary majority in the 1986 elections is boycotting the elections and wants it postponed until the formation of a transitional government that oversees the amendment of the constitution and other laws before holding elections.
The Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan al-Turabi and a section of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani are also shunning the elections.
The NEC Chairman Mokhtar al-Asam denied speculations about the postponement of the parliamentary elections, stressing that the NEC is the only body that can make such a decision.
Al-Asam however said that there are nine constituencies where elections could be delayed because of the security situation.
He told reporters at a news conference in Khartoum on Tuesday that six of the presidential candidates are running on their party ticket while all the others are running as independents.
Three prospective nominees were excluded but they still have the right to appeal, al-Asam added.
He also said that six parliamentary candidates from three states (West Kordofan, South Kordofan, East Darfur and North Kordofan) have already won their seats by acclamation. All of them belong to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
Al-Asam disclosed that they were denied funding from foreign institutions such as the Carter Center and the United Nations because they rejected their conditions that encroach on the country’s pride.
Among these conditions was a request to tour the country and meet with opposition parties to ensure that they are willing to participate in the elections.
“This is unacceptable because elections is a constitutional entitlement .. we turned it down because they want to dictate orders and evaluate the environment and place their footprints and this affects the dignity of Sudan,” he said.
Al-Asam also revealed that eight international groups want to monitor the elections and 176 local ones.