Election status – Sudan

For Blog Our colleagues in the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum have issued the following situation report that addresses the status of the election.

Dear Sudanese Friends and Friends of the Sudanese,

This update specifically addresses the current status of the elections, the results of which are scheduled to be released on Tuesday April 20.

The Carter Center’s monitoring team gives the following as their initial impression:

"While it is too early to offer a final overall assessment, it is apparent that the elections will fall short of meeting international standards and Sudan’s obligations for genuine elections in many respects. Nonetheless, the elections are important as a key benchmark in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and because of the increased political and civic participation that has occurred over the last several months. Ultimately, the success of the elections will depend on whether Sudanese leaders take action to promote lasting democratic transformation."  Carter Center Preliminary Report April 17, 2010

The Carter report takes a long view of Sudan’s elections; a view anticipated by a prophetic statement issued very early in the process suggests that the people rather than the leaders will have the most to say about the future of Sudan:

"Those looking for optimism would do better to scale back their expectations of the polls and to look instead at the incredible resilience of ordinary Sudanese people and the heroic efforts of a vibrant civil society to fight for human rights, gender equality and less hunger.  Inspirational leadership is more likely to come from the tens of thousands of women and men working on a new Sudan at the grassroots in Darfur, Jonglei and Kordofan, than from the Islamists, generals and "former" warlords who still run the country."   Harry Verhoeven  guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 April 2010 18.39 BST

What is critical for the Sudanese right now?  Indeed, it would appear that very little will change immediately. That will result in disappointment for many Sudanese who pinned their hopes on change via the ballot box. Regardless, we believe that at all cost the Sudanese must avoid violence. We, whether Sudanese or friends of the Sudanese, must all work and pray that the ongoing phases of counting, tabulation and posting of the results will be carried out peacefully and without violent reaction from disappointed voters. We join with those leaders who have called for people to remain calm and demonstrate civility during the elections process and beyond because it is only peace that will take Sudan forward in the future.

Jesus frequently said to his disciples: "Don't be frightened.  No matter what, don't be afraid."  God is sovereign; His love is certain; and, His justice will be done!  Recognizing this, we encourage all Sudanese and friends of Sudanese to pray, and pray hard, and to avoid any violence.   

Pray for the people of Sudan.

The image shows children of Sudan and was taken by Debby Vial of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program staff.

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