Sunday, March 8, 2015

South Sudan: Party calls on AU to distance itself from elections

The National Umma Party (NUP) called on the African Union (AU) to stay away from the upcoming elections in April and to give priority to stopping the war and bringing peace and creating suitable conditions for all Sudanese including IDP’s and refugees to express their views freely and peacefully.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has approved the deployment of a pre-election assessment mission to Sudan ahead of the country’s general elections.

The mission which arrived last week is supposed to assess the election readiness and the overall climate to ensure that they will be held in accordance with the African Charter on Democracy which was ratified by Sudan.

They met with senior NUP officials to explore the positions of political parties and civil society organizations in order to enable the AU to take a stance on the elections.

The mission is comprised of employees from the AU Department of Political Affairs and four independent electoral experts.

Most opposition forces reject the elections and want it postponed until a national government is formed for a transitional period that would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and schedule fair elections.

A statement by NUP said that they affirmed their position on the elections and laid out a set of ideas and views stressing that the party "is the second oldest party in Africa after the African National Congress in South Africa, which was founded in 1945".

"The party fully believes in democracy as principle and rotation of power through free vote and transparent electoral processes and that it contested in five [previous] national elections held in Sudan and won a majority in the last four without big trouble".

They stressed that what matters to the NUP is "founding true democracy in Sudan and conducting elections where people elect their representatives freely and transparently"

The party leaders explained that Sudanese are suffering from a "crisis triggered by the regime’s amendments to the constitution which represents a coup and returns the country to square one and ignite wars in nine out of the total of eighteen states, making more than half of the country unsuitable to hold the elections".

They accused the government of continuing to inflame the situation by stepping up military campaigns despite the upcoming elections which are less than a month away.

The NUP said it desires to see free and fair elections and seeks to accomplish that but that in the current circumstances the elections will only complicate matters.

They underscored to the AU mission the need for elections but only after serious, honest and transparent dialogue and creating a conducive environment.

"The party does not believes that the AU will stand with this regime in its oppression of its people and or support it in sham elections which has its goal first and foremost to fake the will of the Sudanese people and create a farce legitimacy that keeps Sudanese hostage to a regime to protect its leader from the International Criminal Court and enable it to continue its plans to destabilize the regional and international security."

(Sudan Tribune)

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