‘4.800 million Sudanese cast their votes’: NEC

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The head of the National Election Commission NEC), Mukhtar El Asam, announced on Sunday that the number of votes cast in the presidential and parliamentary election reached 4.800 million. 13.8 million Sudanese were eligible to vote.

He predicted that the percentage of the voter turnout will lie between 36 and 38 percent in the end. “It may reach 40 percent”, he said, stressing that the low numbers were expected.

The numbers do not include voters abroad, and in El Gezira state, where the voting process was extended, because of logistical problems. For the same reason, the start of the election was postponed to Friday in El Tina, Um Baru, and Karnoi localities in North Darfur.

The voting process abroad commenced on Friday too, in the seven centres in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, the UK, and Belgium.

The election was suspended in the insecure border areas of El Dibab in West Kordofan, northern Abyei, and seven constituencies in South Kordofan.

On Friday, the counting of the ballots started. The election period, scheduled for 13-15 April, was extended with one day, to boost the extremely low turnout on the first three days.

El Asam said that about 80 percent of the votes cast in Khartoum state have been counted, showing a victory for the ruling National Congress Party, and its leader, President Omar Al Bashir.