Carter Center Notes Progress in Electoral Preparations,
But Expresses Concern Over Electoral Delays and Peace Agreement Implementation
Aug. 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Khartoum: Jeffrey Mapendere +249 909 010 586 or Aly Verjee +249 126 341 480
In Juba: Sanne van den Bergh +249 911 714 041 or +256 477 182 893
In Atlanta: Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124
In a statement released today, The Carter Center noted recent positive steps in Sudan's electoral process, including the release of a revised electoral calendar that should allow voter registration to take place in November, avoiding the rainy season, as well as the formation of 25 state Election High Committees and the Southern Sudan Elections High Committee (SSEHC). At the same time, the Center reported serious concerns about slippage in the overall electoral calendar; delays in key operational, policy, and budgetary decisions; continued restrictions on civil liberties; and the lack of adequate reform legislation needed to fully protect the fundamental freedoms of Sudanese citizens.
The revised electoral calendar published by the National Election Commission (NEC) in late-June presents an achievable but ambitious schedule but will only be viable if the Government of National Unity (GONU) and the NEC take immediate action to ensure that further delays are avoided. Full financial and technical resources should be made available to the NEC, the SSEHC, and the subsidiary state Elections High Committees without further delay, in order to ensure they become fully operational. The Center's other findings are highlighted in the following report.
The Carter Center election observation mission began activities in Sudan in February 2008 in response to a request from the leaders of the GONU and the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). The Center subsequently signed memoranda of understanding with the Government of Sudan, the NEC, and the GOSS formalizing the Center's election observation activities. The Carter Center established offices in Khartoum and Juba, and Carter Center staff has traveled widely in Sudan to monitor electoral preparations, track the progress of related political developments, and inform key stakeholders of the Center's role in observing Sudan's electoral process.
The Carter Center conducts its election observation in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005, and has been endorsed by 33 election observation groups. The Declaration of Principles can be read in Arabic and English at: http://cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/des_declaration.html
The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. The Carter Center began working in Sudan in 1986 on the Sasakawa-Global 2000 agricultural project and for more than 20 years its health and peace programs have focused on improving health and preventing and resolving conflicts in Sudan. Please visit www.cartercenter.org to learn more about The Carter Center.
Aug. 20, 2009: Carter Center Announces Agreement With the Government of Sudan, the National Elections Commission and the Government of Southern Sudan on Election Observation >>
May 7, 2009: Carter Center Welcomes Sudan's Electoral Calendar But Urges Additional Steps to Ensure Genuine and Viable Elections >>