Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The calm after the elections . . . ?

The citizens of Juba in Central Equatoria were not concerned about the Presidency of the Republic or that of the Governemnt of Southern Sudan. Bashir and Salva Kiir are the expected winners, no one doubted that.

In the election, the battle ground states were Central Equatoria, Westen Equatoria and Unity States, where the independent candidates were more popular than the SPLM candidates. People fee that the SPLM official candidats are being force on them, and they turn to show their disatisfaction by vooting for the independent candidates.

However, things have not turn out as expected. In Central Equatoria, the incumbent SPLM Candidate got through as well as in Unity State. The initial results show that the independents were leading, but due to pressure, the State election officilas have to succumb to pressure and announce the incumbents winners. Too bad for a fledgeling democracy, if you can call it that. The SPLM seems determined to ensure that their candidates get the positions, like their partners in the North.

One success story is worth celebrating: Western Equatoria independent candidate defeated the SPLM incumbent governor, the unpopular Jemma Nunu by a narrow margin. The SPLM failed to get that state due to many factors, one of which is the Election Officials strick abidance by the rules.

The citizens of Central Equatori feel that they have been robbed of a leader, one who will safe them from misrule and corruption of the incumbent. They will only have to look at their neighbour's luck with longing.

If democracy was born in the West, it had certainly been buried in the jungles of Southern Sudan . . .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Have you voted?

Voting has been going on in the Sudan since Suday. Although there reports of irregularities, mainly logistic and technical difficulties, many polling stations have gone on smoothly.

However, some political parties are saying there are riggings by the SPLM and NCP, intimidating voters and harrasing party observers. Juba seems to have no such reports.

The most annoying thing is for voters who do not find their names on the list. Many have to visit several polling stations before they found their names.

I hope the Sudanese will be able to show the world that they can have a peaceful election without violence. Free or fair is something else.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Where have all the foreigners gone in Juba?

If you walk the streets of Juba today, you will notice it immediately: there are fewer people in the streets. The mini buses are far apart, the morning rush hour crowds quieter and the boda boda taxis less ubiquitous! I asume it is the same in many towns in Southern Sudan.

Granted, many people might have gone to their respective constituencies to vote on Sudan. But the usual foreigners population in Juba has dwindled remarkably. The Ugandans and Kenyans have closed their businesses and flocked home. The airport has become very congested as flights are overbooked. The restuarants are closed, shops in Konyokonyo market in Juba closed. The bars are without customers. And prices are beginning to go up already!

These people are fearing the violence during elections, as if it is the norm. No one wants to be caught in it, like it happened in Kenya, it seems.

Personally I do no think there will be mmuch violence, if any at all. The campaigns have gone rather peacefully in general, with little violence between different supporters. Why should people fear the actual voting process itself?

I am urging my neighbours not to flee because there will be no need to fear!

Umma out, DUP in . . .

Umma Party is the latest to boycott the elections. Another blow to the NCP and the elections, the first since 1986.

It is obvious now what the strategy is: everyone knows Bashir will win, but they want him to lose the credibility. What is the worth of the elections if there is no opposition?

However, DUP is going in the elections, full speed ahead. Now that is another twist.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

NCP: no delay to elections

It is becoming obvious that NCP had no heart to hold credible elections in the country. Right from the beginning of the signing of the CPA, NCP started working on how to undermine the agreement and never see it fulfilled. The signs are always clear for all to see.

There is a complete disregard to the elements contained in the agreement. Many of the articles have not been implemented fully and some are being watered down and re-interpreted to sooth their interests.

What is happening is a sham and NCP knows that. What has happened about the Demarcation of Borders, Abyei Status, JIUs, Militias and the referendum? True, NCP is arguing now that the elections will not be postponed, because they will also not hold the referendum on time if that happens. The SPLM shouldn’t buy that. Not everyone does, but could they do it?
If the NCP can play around with many of the provisions in the CPA, the SPLM is right to worry, though. Salva Kiir has already made it clear that referendum is more important than the elections.

Sudan is becoming very interesting these days.

To vote or not?

The SPLM had me confused nowadays. Will I ever vote? I had hoped to exercise my rights happily but now is confused. I had registered in Khartoum (a stupid thing, I now admit) and hoped to be there to vote for Yasir Arman and any SPLM politician standing.

My dilemma now is: why should I travel all the way to Khartoum and vote for someone else? I will wait for the referundum instead.

SPLM Boycotts elections in Northern Sudan

Now the elections are getting really interesting. The other day, the SPLM Presidential Candidate Yasir Saed Arman, withdrew from the race, citing problems in Darfur and electoral irregularities that will not lead to a free and fair elections.

Yesterday, the SPLM Political Bureau has decided to also abandon the elections in Northern Sudan, citing the same problems and saying the elections will not be free and fare etc, etc. Funny enough, the SPLM will continue to run in Southern Sudan, competing in all levels of government. Now the streets have become really active.
Nobody is believeing the crap. If the elctions are not going to be free and fare in the North, how will it be in the South? Is it not the same elections, same ballots and same NEC? When there are no explanations, the conspiracy theories abound and I like what I hear, because it goes with what I believe a long time ago that it is going to happen: that SPLM is handing Northern Sudan to NCP and NCP is handing Southern Sudan to the SPLM. That will be the results of the elections, each ensuring their grip in power. And the oppositions parties, they can go to hell.

The opposition have already sensed this and said the SPLM cut a deal with NCP. Are they right? Maybe. Bashir has threatened to postpone the crucial referrundum in the South in 2011 if SPLM withdraw completely from the elections aor asked for delays. For the SPLM, 2011 is much more important than the elections.

So the whole elections is turning out to be a sham.

Elections, elections, elections

Hey, I am back. I have been troubled with a lot of things are now the scene in Sudan is getting juicer by the day as the elections gets nearer by the day.

Most towns in the Southern Sudan are already in high election mood. I have seen them, some of them, and will tell you that many people are ready to exercise their democratic rights.

What the SPLM is doing is a subject for another post.