The European Union (EU) announced that it will not send a team of monitors to witness Sudan’s general elections that will kickoff next Monday and expressed doubts that it will produce credible results.
The Arab League (AL) and African Union (AU) will both send observers for the elections which are boycotted by most major opposition parties and that have generated little interest among ordinary citizens.
The statement attributed to the EU representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Affairs and Vice president of the Commission Federica Mogherini also criticized the national dialogue process initiated by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in January of last year.
"The failure to initiate a genuine national dialogue one year after it was announced by the Government of Sudan is a setback for the welfare of the people of Sudan,” Mogherini said.
She recalled EU’s appeal last October for a comprehensive solution to Sudan’s conflicts that would eventually lead to an inclusive political process.
“The EU reiterates this view and is disappointed that the Government of Sudan is missing the opportunity by not responding to the efforts by the African Union to bring all stakeholders together”.
She was referring to the suspension of the pre-dialogue preparatory meeting that was scheduled to take place last week between the Sudanese government and political/military opposition groups and civil society organizations under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
Mbeki made the decision to call off the meeting due to the refusal of Khartoum and its affiliated political parties to attend despite the presence of Sudanese opposition groups there.
“We commend those representatives from armed groups, political opposition and civil society who were present in Addis, ready to engage,” the EU official said.
“When dialogue is bypassed, some groups are excluded and civil and political rights are infringed, the upcoming elections cannot produce a credible result with legitimacy throughout the country”.
“The people of Sudan deserve better. We therefore chose not to engage in support of these elections”.
President Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party (NCP) are expected to easily sweep the elections at all levels.
The NCP has vowed not to contest in 30% of the constituencies to allow other parties to claim their seats.