For the last day of voting, a final roundup on reactions to the Sudanese elections. Previous roundups here, here, and here.
- The New York Times argues that prosperity has won votes for President Omar al-Bashir. “Here in the agricultural heartland of central Sudan and in Khartoum, the capital, the vast majority of people interviewed said they would vote for him.” But the article’s emphasis on economic factors could obscure another point – some Sudanese support Bashir because they believe he has stabilized the country: “Many [Sudanese interviewed] recalled with a grimace the late 1980s, when Sudan was plagued by triple-digit inflation, bread lines and disastrous economic policies — and governed by some of the same opposition politicians who contested these elections until they recently dropped out.” That’s not just economics, that’s politics.
- Yesterday, news broke that Bashir’s National Congress Party was inviting opposition figures to join a coalition government if they win. Coverage from the BBC, The Majlis, Al Jazeera English, and the Financial Times.
- Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George W. Bush: “[The elections] certainly were seen by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as the mechanism for democratic transformation, but in fact I think they have resulted in maintaining the status quo…with the NCP returned to power and the opposition further disenfranchised by their own action.”
- John Norris of the Enough Project writes that “Obama is bungling Sudan’s elections” – Norris makes some important criticisms, but his frame overstates America’s capacity to determine political outcomes in Africa.
- VOA on the UN’s role in the elections.
This is the last roundup for now. Results are supposed to come out around April 18th, which is actually pretty soon (wasn’t it March a few days ago?). We’ll see if the opposition accepts the NCP’s offer.
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