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12.04.2010 General News

Sudan elections: Kufuor tours voting centres

By myjoyonline
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Ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor, leader of the African Union (AU) Observer Mission in Sudan, has completed touring some voting centres in the country's capital Khartoum and largest city Omdruman.

As the head of a 50-member AU Observer team, the former president is in Sudan to monitor the country's first election after 25 years of war.

A statement signed by the ex-president's spokesperson Frank Agyekum said the voting process was peaceful and orderly at all 10 polling centres Mr Kufuor visited.

Voters waited patiently for their turn and party agents, the media and security personnel were also present, the statement said.

It said the electoral officers indicated that voting materials had arrived on time although at one centre, ballot papers were being off-loaded at the time of the visit, about two hours after the official opening of voting.

Mr Kufuor, according to the statement, held meetings with leaders of the entire observer mission, including Jimmy Carter of the Carter Centre, General Scott Graton US Special Envoy to Sudan, and Torben Brylle EU Special representative to Sudan.

The statement indicated that former President Kufuor has also met with former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is Chair of the AU High Level Implementation Team on Sudan, and Mr Ibrahim Gambari, head of the United Nations Mission in Darfur, Sudan.

Nine parties, including the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) led by incumbent President of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir are contesting the three-day elections to elect a President, a 450-member National Assembly and a myriad of gubernatorial, parliamentary and other executive positions.

Some of the leading opposition parties, including the Southern People's Liberation Movement, the UMMA Party and the Communist Party have boycotted the elections either entirely or in part.

A large number of international observers, including the Carter Centre, the European Union, and the Arab League are observing the elections.

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