Bashir Far Ahead in Early Sudan Election Results
Preliminary election results in Sudan show President Omar al-Bashir heading toward an overwhelming victory, as expected.
The semi-official Sudanese Media Center said Monday that Mr. Bashir has won 97 percent of the votes in northern Kassala state. It said the tally included results from three-fourths of polling stations there.
Scattered results from other areas show Mr. Bashir leading by big margins and his National Congress Party taking at least eight parliamentary seats.
Mr. Bashir was expected to win after two main opponents from the Umma Party and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement withdrew from the presidential race. Those parties and others accuse the government and NCP of conspiring to rig the vote.
The polls last week were Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years.
African Union observers have declared the elections "free and fair," while monitors from the European Union and the U.S.-based Carter Center said they fell short of international standards.
The EU and Carter Center acknowledged the huge and complex task faced by organizers. Sudan is still recovering from a 21-year north-south civil war and the government is still fighting rebels in the Darfur region.
Witnesses reported numerous problems during the voting, including missing names on voter lists, confusing ballots, and a shortage of voting materials.
Sudan's election commission has said it expects to release more complete results on Tuesday. However, the French News Agency quotes an official as saying the results may be delayed.
The elections were a key part of the 2005 peace deal that ended the Sudanese civil war. That agreement calls for semi-autonomous southern Sudan to vote on full independence next year.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.