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Sudan opposition parties accuse ruling party of election fraud

[JURIST] Two political parties in eastern Sudan on Tuesday accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) [party website] of using voter fraud and intimidation in gaining electoral victories in their region of the country during last week's national elections. Representatives of the Beja Congress party and the Democratic Congress for East Sudan have separately accused members of the NCP [Reuters report] of emptying of ballot boxes and compromising ballots in an effort to secure victory for their party. The Beja Congress also contend that fraud is indicated by the fact their party won only one seat on a state assembly and no seats at the national level. Reports from one electoral area have the NCP candidate winning with close to 18,000 votes compared to 839 for the eastern party candidate. Official results of the election have not yet been released by the National Election Commission [official website], but indicators point to a strong national win by the NCP. Also on Tuesday, a representative of the US State Department [official website] commented [transcript] on the elections, stating that they were not "free and fair" and that they did not meet international standards. It is expected that President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] will win re-election when the results are announced.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] currently has an arrest warrant against al-Bashir charging him with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC is considering whether to add an additional charge of genocide to the warrant after overturning a March 2009 decision [JURIST reports] by the Pre-Trial Chamber not to prosecute on the charge. The warrant has been controversial [JURIST news archive], with Egypt, Sudan, the African Union [JURIST reports] and others calling for the proceedings against al-Bashir to be delayed, and African Union leaders agreeing [JURIST report] not to cooperate with the ruling. Al-Bashir is accused of systematically targeting and purging the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa, three Arabic-speaking ethnic groups, under the pretext of counterinsurgency since 2003.

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