Sudanese election postponed

The sudanese general elections due in 2010 has been further postponed, by another two months and are now planned for april 2010. The elections initially planned for 2009 is now delayed much because of disagreements on the results of the census, providing for registration of voters. South Sudan claims to represent a larger share of the countrys population and hence legitimising a larger share of seats.

 

Salva Kiir of the SPLM(Sudan People Liberation Army) has announced his candidacy to the elections and gained support from several tribes. The chances of Kiir(also Vice-President today) to succeed in gaining the highest ranking office are to be honest not that big, much because of the religious differences between mainly christian SPLM and the more muslim dominated north surrounding Khartoum.  The main contenders are likely to be the governing and yet dominant National Congress Party, SPLM traditionally opposing NCP and National Democratic Alliance. NDA has a long history in Sudan, several times in power but has been marginalised after al-Bashirs coup in 1989, the last elections held in 2000 were boycotted by NDA.

Besides the main political parties a much influential organisation will be the Muslim Brotherhood, so far influential to and supporting the present government. As an important part of the muslim community among the population the brotherhood´s position will most likely be important to the outcome of the election.

There is a possible risk of polarisation and conflicts should the political campaigning be to hard. Since the 2005 Peace agreement Sudan has been governed by a coalition government between NCP and SPLM paving the way for increased stability in South Sudan and a transition to stronger autonomy and possible independence of South Sudan.

Even though Omar al-Bashir should and must be criticised for his actions, he is still an important player in the stability of the area and for the peace and well-being of the region

If a conviction and arrest of al-Bashir is not successful or if he stays in power after the elections, it should be in the interest of SPLM and others to keep good ties with the government if South Sudan will increase its stability and possible independence.

 

By candidating to the presidency of Sudan Salva Kiir will most likely abandon his current position as president of South Sudan, this due to the elections to its presidency held simultaneously. Recently the SPLM has faced a challenge in the election following a breakaway fraction of the party, causing a political crisis. Still this must be seen as a welcoming development as SPLM has been strongly dominating in the south and real political opposition has been marginalised. The dominance of liberation movements, and their positions as saviours of the country is a strong risk of authoritarianism. In the region the most striking example is Eritrea where the liberation movement is now the foundation of a dictatorial regime.  If Salva Kiir abandons his current presidency it should be a welcomed move that the next candidate of the SPLM would be challenged by an opponent representing either a new political grouping or a break-away fraction of SPLM.

 

Even though strongly criticised by the international community and under a political domination of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is not a dictatorship in its institutional form. This is a result much because of the 2005 peace agreement where NDC gave up much of its fully dominating political power. The transitional parliament appointed at this time has a form of political plurality and NDC can not rule without opposition, despite its actual majority in the house.  The political parties has not yet faced accountability from the population which will be the task of the 2010 elections.  Even though we should not have too high hopes of a democratic breakthrough in either Sudan or Southern Sudan following the upcoming elections, Still there is a chance of increased political plurality . The dominance of NDC and SPLM has not been accountable to the will of the population yet. 

Even though not considered a democratic state, Sudan is still probably the most successful example in the region. Neighbouring countries such as Chad, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia and farther away Eritrea are by far more dictatorial.

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