Tale of Two Nations Comparing Elections in Nigeria and the Willy-Nilly Win in Sudan
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
This article comes against the backdrop of the Nigerian elections that ran in a free democratic competition between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) opposition party, which coincided with the elections of Sudan that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has decided to proceed solo despite the boycott by the mainstream- opposition parties. Some say that trying to compare elections in Nigeria with the NCP elections in Sudan is unfair and unjust to say the least. However, I saw to proceed comparing the two events hoping to get to results that might help to take cues and learn lessons in the days ahead and an experience added to our political history in Sudan.
In Nigeria, the competition was between the government of President Goodluck Jonathan’s party and the main opposition party of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari whereas the competition in Sudan elections is between the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCO) and a group of parties created by the (NCP) regime led by Marshal Omar al-Bashir. The competitors have never been heard of by the Sudanese voters and they did not play any significant political role during the lean 26 years of dictatorship where the Sudanese citizens languishing in.
The Génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir is expected to be comfortably returned to power in the April 13th, 2015 elections, extending his quarter – century endless grip on the helm of Sudan. Sudan is voting in elections shunned by the opposition, international community of EU and the Troika and said that they expected to see the incumbent President Omar al-Bashir hold on to power for another five-year term. While the country’s main opposition groups are boycotting the elections, in which 15 little-known candidates, mostly the NCP associates, are challenging the incumbent, al-Bashir who seeks shelter from the ‘shackles’ and fear of apprehension by the (ICC).
The Sudan’s NCP elections that the political and the armed opposition group described as a sham, do not bear comparison with the Nigerian elections. The evidence for that also emanated from the Troika who said an environment conducive to participatory and credible elections does not exist in Sudan. The Troika formed of the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States. It has been working to support for peace in Sudan and aims to resolve differences between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the opposition.
Ant attempts to compare the elections in Nigeria and the one in Sudan become insoluble due to the absence of the aspects for comparison in both qualitative and quantitative terms. In short, there is lack of seminaries between the two. The Nigerian elections of April 2015 are the fifth Quadrennial polling that have been held since the end of the military rule in 1999.
The electoral Commission in Nigeria, known as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is truly independent, unlike the Sudan’s NCP affiliated electoral commission, so-called Sudan National Election Commission (NEC). Al- Bashir and his (NCP) have monopolised power and restricted civil liberties, making free and fair and transparent elections impossible.
Needless to reiterate the obvious fact that al-Bashir has exhausted the terms of his office according to the 2005 Transitional Constitution (TC) that came under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the then Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the Government of Sudan (GoS).
For transparency and safeguarding against elections fraudulence the Nigerians, insistence on biometric elector registration and the compulsory use of biometric cards to accredit voters that sharply cut the old bloated electoral roll. It stopped many double registrations and under-age voters. By contrast, in the Sudan’s NCP elections, poll rigging has always been rife and no such measures ever heard of. Thus, the doors are open for forgery and fraud to nestle.
The regime of the National Congress Party undermined its National Dialogue and absences itself from the Addis Ababa preparatory meeting of March 29-30, 2015. Thus, Bashir’s regime refused to participate in the preparatory meeting for national dialogue in Addis Ababa and insisted on moving forward to the blood elections boycotted by the Sudanese people and the mainstream political opposition and in spite of the denouncement by the international community, the EU and the Troika.
The Sudanese people have said that al-Bashir Election is nothing but a Political Charade. Accordingly, the people of Sudan will snub al-Bashir and his NCP regime forever, political observers indicated.
Political observers reported that the Police outnumber voters as Omar al-Bashir seeks re-election in poll that opposition parties will sit out and EU says cannot produce credible result. Moreover, Sudan activists call for mass boycott of Presidential elections coupling that by the ‘Leave Campaign’ and the regime Change pledge of the united mainstream political and armed Opposition.
Political activists in Sudan are campaigning for an unprecedented mass boycott of Monday’s 13 -15 April 2015 so-called general election, denouncing it as “a political charade”.
President Omar al-Bashir – the world’s only sitting leader wanted on genocide charges – is set to extend his 26-year rule in three-day polls which rebels are threatening to sabotage, major opposition parties intend to sit out and the European Union warns will lack credibility.
As voting began on Monday 13, 2015, police officers outnumbered voters and polling places stood empty in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Nearly 13 million people are registered to vote, with results expected on 27 April 2015. However, the credibility of alleged number of people registered for voting have been challenged by analysts that the names have been copied from the list of the National Identity Number and actual registry of potential voters.
The Génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir has made campaign promises to improve access to water and farmland and claimed that only he can protect voters against the chaos engulfing several countries in the wake of the Arab spring. Al- Bashir told a rally in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state by saying “There are those … who aim to do in Sudan what has happened in Yemen, Syria and Libya “But we will not allow this to happen to Sudan.” The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), dismissed what al-Bashir kept saying and labelled the April 13 2015 elections as nothing but a Propaganda and a blanket hiding behind from the grip of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Insiders say the embattled autocrat Omer al-Bashir felt threatened by a potentially similar crisis in 2013 when thousands of protesters took to the streets, prompting a harsh crackdown in which nearly 200 civilians were killed and at least 800 arrested. Since then, his critics have been regrouping in readiness for the polls, held on 13-15 April 2015 and seen as crucial in affording him international legitimacy.
Omar al-Bashir is desperately trying to legitimize his illegitimate racist, corrupt and blood thirsty regime through illegal elections, which he painted with falsified information. The results of this vacuous political charade of electioneering are known in advance such as the rigged elections in 2010. These farcical elections are boycotted by the main opposition and the components of the Sudanese people who are keen to free the nation of the 26 -year oppressive rule of the fundamentalist political Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement.
The thundering Chants of the Sudanese People against the elections say (no to the Blood elections; together to put an end to this butcher Omar al-Bashir and his entourage)! Farce and mock elections. Furthermore, all the political forces that have signed the document ‘Sudan Call’ called on the Sudanese people for boycotting the political farce falsely called elections.
The Sudanese people managed to defeat farce pseudo-election to the authority of the ruling regime of the NCP, where broad evident reluctance polling stations was free of the electorate this as well as the jokes and ridicule in the Social networking sites and other media. Jokes and ridicules continued unabated and documented with photos of Donkeys entering polling stations, which were empty of voters and election observers! Thus, the NCP regime landed in its evil deeds to reap what it planted/sowed. As the popular proverb goes, one who sows thorns does not reap grapes! In reality, there is no election in any real sense on the ground, people said.
The regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) -led by the war criminal Omar al-Bashir is characterised by the qualities of corruption, prevarication, racism, nepotism, cronyism, intransigence, autocracy, oppression, tyranny, injustice and failure to run the country through good governance and the establishment of the rule of law during its reign of 26 lean years. As one close to the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna has been quoted as saying: Muslim Brothers never forget anything but never learn anything; just like the French House of Bourbon Dynasty! They commit the same mistakes without taking lessons from the past perpetually.
As they say happened and there is nothing wrong when we compare between Nigeria and Sudan about voter registration and preparation of the ballot measures, we find a vast difference so that the elections in Sudan is dominated by fraud as we find in Nigeria they use Biostatistics.
Examples of something funny and sad at the same time is the announcement released from Jalal Mohammed Ahmed, Secretary General of the National Elections Commission for the Sudanese elections in which the official threatened saying that anyone found sleeping during the voting at the polling stations we will deduct sizeable amounts from their salaries. As they say this is the Scourge that causes laughter! We delve into what they say a third of andirons is that phenomenon of unloading ballot papers from ballot boxes full of ballot papers to another empty with the intention of defrauding during the night! No wonder, those are the ethics par excellence of the Muslim Brotherhood Movements!
They said in one of the villages where the votes of allegedly fifty dead people were counted! When asked as to why such a scandalous act they practiced, the National Congress Party (NCP) representative started reciting the Verse 169 from Sura number 3 Al-Imran of Qur’an, which reads: (Never take those killed in the way of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, well provided). Or Think not of those killed in the way of Allah dead, but alive and well in the Lord.
Furthermore, the contradictions of international politics have become clear when the League of the Arab Countries offered an unreserved sudden support to the Sudan’s dictator Omar al-Bashir shortly after he joined the Saudi led Operation Decisive Storm (ODS) against the Shiite Houthis in Yemen. Note that the Operation Decisive Storm receives support from the international community led by the United States of America (USA). Politics is the art of the possible, as they say where there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies as long as there is interest. Thus, intersecting interests fit together the in accordance with the policy, which is similar to the desert sands that have no stability in one place. Moreover, it seems that Bashir’s ramshackle regime found the one would keep him standing, but without a doubt remains reeling. To Omar al-Bashir’s elections apply what Joseph Stalin, the Communist Party Secretary in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) who people quoted as said: It is enough that people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything!
People described the Nigerian elections as free, fair and transparent. It has been the popular belief that Muhammadu Buhari has the political will to tackle the rampant theft of state resources that propelled him. His All Progressives Congress (APC) was victorious in the 28 March presidential election. The APC won 15.4 million votes (55%) to the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan’s 12.8 million. (45%).
The then President Goodluck Jonathan had conceded defeat and congratulated Buhari in a bid to cool political tensions after the defeat of his governing People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In Sudan, the most popular feature of the first day’s elections is that the polling staff catching up on their sleep as polling stations remains empty. The Sudanese public quoted the head of the National Elections Commission as saying: “there would be no electoral quorum of 50%+1”!
One may conclude by quoting the former French President General Charles de Gaulle who said: (Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians, and add the anarchist freethinking rebel woman Emma Goldman’s statement: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal”!
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is https://thussudan.wordpress.com/