On the Sudanese parliamentary and presidential elections
Sudan, Politics, 12/15/2000
Voting operation started on Wednesday in Sudan to choose a new President and members of the national council whose member tolled 360 of various social, vocational and women strata to fill the constitutional vacuum which lasted for over one year.
Five candidates are competing for the presidency. They are the current President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the chairman of the ruling national congress, the former President Jaafar al-Numeiri who is also the chairman of the people's forces coalition, Samoual Hussein Othman Mansour, the chairman of the liberal democrats party and Malik Hussein and lawyer Mahmoud Ahmad Jiha.
However, the salvation government has succeeded in defining a date for these elections although the main opposition parties refused carrying out these elections before attaining reconciliation. These parties are the national coalition led by Muhammad Othman al-Meir Ghani, the al-Ummah party led by al-Sadeq al-Mahdi and the people's congress led by Hassan al-Turabi, the former partner in ruling the salvation government.
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had asserted that it is not possible to postpone these elections and " to obstruct constitutional and legislative organs, because democracy needs a national council. And it is an urgent need. He questioned " who guarantees reconciliation will be attained if the elections are postponed.."
The Salvation government stressed that as it had promised, it has achieved equal and balanced opportunities for all candidates especially the presidency candidates and allotted to them vast areas for campaigning in all types of written and audio- visual media especially through the TV in order to propose their programs and dialogue with citizens on their future plans.
Programs of presidency candidates have become very familiar to all citizens because they were frequently repeated at all media forums, seminars and people's meetings.
President al-Bashir's program is based on dialogue, understanding giving up violence and negotiations with all parties and national political forces so as to attain a formula which is satisfactory for all, achieving to the homeland its safety and unity and consolidates peace on its soil, discussing the relation between the state and the religion and fair distribution of the wealth, the freedom of political and party activity and developing natural resources.
President Jaafar al-Numeiri stressed that if he wins the elections he will continue what he had accomplished during his rule which lasted until the year 1989 which he described as being free of corruption at 95 %.
The other three presidency candidates Mansour, Jiha and Malik Hussein have common programs that call for the need of improving the living condition, eliminating unemployment and poverty, ensuring work opportunities for all, facilitating the introduction of Arab and foreign investments to the country to improve work conditions for all and to working for mechanizing agriculture, supporting the industry and reforming foreign relations and founding a national government.
Regardless to whom will win in these elections which will end by the evening of 22nd of December and in which observers expect President al-Bashir to be re-elected for the second time, there are new responsibilities in front of the New President mainly to please the opposition parties and political forces and to maintain understanding with them on common national equilibrium to solve the problem of Southern Sudan, improve the living conditions and improving fields of industry, commerce, agriculture and development as the general economic conditions in the country blooms following the flow of oil and investment of Arab and foreign capitals in investment projects for the welfare and benefits of Sudan.
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