Carter Center Welcomes Peaceful Voter Registration in Sudan; Urges Further Steps to Improve Registration Process
Nov. 30, 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 commended the largely peaceful implementation of national voter registration in Sudan, which began on Nov. 1, and welcomed the National Election Commission's (NEC) decision to extend voter registration by one week to promote greater inclusion in the process. However, the Center expressed concern that while turnout has been high in certain states, participation has been uneven and many states appear to lag behind in meeting registration targets. In light of these challenges, the Center also urged the NEC and Sudan's state elections committees to make available additional funds for the registration process; redouble efforts to ensure that registration books and materials reach as many eligible Sudanese as possible, especially in areas with difficult logistical and security challenges; and expand civic education on voter registration.
The Center welcomed the Commission's steps to facilitate the work of election observers, including its accreditation of Carter Center observers for voter registration on Nov. 3. However, the NEC and state elections committees should take action to ensure timely accreditation for both national and international observers so that they can observe the entire electoral process, both during and after voter registration. The NEC should finalize the accreditation regulations currently under review.
Following the commencement of long-term election observation activities in Sudan in February 2008 at the invitation of the Government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan, The Carter Center has deployed 32 medium and long-term observers to assess voter registration and the broader political and electoral environment across Sudan. The observer delegation is drawn from 21 countries: Cameroon, Canada, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Serbia, Spain, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Carter Center observers will remain in place for the duration of voter registration, now scheduled to end Dec. 7, and will also observe the exhibition of and challenges to voters' lists in constituencies across the country. To date, The Carter Center mission has observed voter registration activities in more than 450 fixed and mobile registration centers in 22 states across the country.
The objectives of the Carter Center's election observation mission in Sudan are to: a) provide an impartial assessment of the overall quality of the electoral process, b) promote an inclusive electoral process for all Sudanese, and c) demonstrate international interest in Sudan's electoral process. The mission is assessing the electoral process in Sudan based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Interim National Constitution, National Elections Act, and obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements, including the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Carter Center conducts election observation missions 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 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.
 Sudan ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) on Feb. 18, 1986. The ACHPR came into force on Oct.21, 1986, after its adoption in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1981 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In addition, Sudan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on March 18, 1986, which entered into force on March 23, 1976.
Aug. 19, 2009: Status of the Electoral Process in Sudan Concerns Remain Over Electoral Delays and Peace Agreement Implementation (PDF)
May 7, 2009: Carter Center Welcomes Sudan's Electoral Calendar but Urges Additional Steps to Ensure Genuine and Viable Elections