Sudan: Ban welcomes pledges for dialogue after polls close in historic elections

15 April 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed efforts by the ruling parties in Sudan to enter dialogue with opposition candidates and parties as polling ended in the country’s first national elections in 24 years.

“The Secretary-General encourages all political actors in Sudan to tackle issues in a spirit of dialogue, towards a peaceful electoral outcome and ongoing implementation of the CPA [the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the north-south civil war],” a statement issued by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said.

Polls closed across Sudan today without any major violent incidents, although there were some reported cases of irregularities and opposition boycotts. The National Election Commission responded to early delays and logistical challenges by extending the voting period from three to five days.

The ruling parties have reportedly pledged to engage in dialogue with opposition candidates and parties, including those who boycotted the polls.

Mr. Ban urged all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from actions that could jeopardize the peaceful conclusion of the electoral process.

“Electoral grievances should be addressed through appropriate legal and institutional channels and reviewed in a fair and transparent manner,” the statement said.

The elections have been regarded as an important milestone in the implementation of the CPA, which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of warfare pitting the Sudanese Government against the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The SPLM formed the administration that runs southern Sudan after the signing of the CPA.

In Darfur, a region in western Sudan, a separate conflict between Government forces, allied Janjaweed militiamen and rebel groups has continued since 2003.

 

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