Hurdles include a complex balloting system in a population who has never voted, the rainy season, and land mines.
Last week 17 opposition parties pushed a memo to the presidency requesting that April elections be postponed until next November in order to allow for major reforms in a number of laws primarily relating national security and media. They gave the government until next week Thursday April 1 to respond positively or else face the possibility of boycotting the elections.
Meanwhile the SPLM revealed that Salva Kiir, the President of Southern Sudan has rejected a request by Taha and NEC chairman Abel Alier to have the Northern army transport voting slips to the south.
The United Nations (UN) was due to transport the ballots by helicopter around the war-ravaged south but Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has delayed the pilots’ visas, a U.N. source and opposition party officials told Reuters.
“They are sabotaging the coming of the U.N. pilots. They want to control the whole election process,” said Yasir Arman, the SPLM candidate for the national presidency.
A U.N. source, who declined to be named, said the visa problem was eventually resolved but that the U.N. was aware of the NEC request to allow the northern army to transport the ballots. “It didn’t make any sense and we made that clear in our discussions,” the source added.
From Daily Nation:
In reports released in Nairobi on Wednesday clearly timed to send a statement ahead of the polls, Human Rights Watch accused the two governments of gross violation of human rights.
The agency said studies conducted between November 2009 to March 2010 in Sudan found that both the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan have been restricting freedoms critical to a fair poll, including freedoms of expression, assembly press, and equal access to the media. . . .
Things are not any different in the south where intimidation, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of those opposed to the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement have been reported. . . . There is also concern over intimidation of journalists.