Friday, March 12, 2010

Sudan: EU to observe elections

Source: European Commission (EC); European Union (EU) - The European Commission is deploying an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the general elections in Sudan, scheduled to take place between 11 and 18 April 2010.

Led by Véronique de Keyser, Member of the European Parliament, the 130 EU observers will assess pre-election preparations and campaign all over Sudan, voting, counting and tabulation of the results of the Election Days, as well as the post-election period. To do so a first Team of experts arrived in the country at the end of February. The experts will soon be joined by a first wave of Long Term Observers (LTOs) and a second wave of Short Term Observers (STOs). In addition, the mission will be reinforced by a delegation of Members of the European Parliament for the election period.

The EU EOM does not present partial conclusions on Election-Day but comprehensive recommendations, based on exhaustive facts and information, once the entire process is over. Therefore, the mission will stay in the country after the elections in order to present its first conclusions once the post election period is closed. The EU EOM is the largest international observer group in Sudan for these elections. The EU also contributed financially to their preparation.

Following the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, an amount of €500m was provided by the EU in development aid in addition to €640m in humanitarian aid since 2003.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President said: "The forthcoming elections are an important milestone in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and for the political future of Sudan to which the EU is fully committed. I strongly hope that the Sudanese people will be able to express themselves freely in these elections. The EU EOM role does not aim to validate candidacies and results but only to assess the election process against international standards for genuine and democratic elections. I am convinced that despite difficulties, with the good cooperation of the Sudanese authorities and under the lead of Véronique de Keyser, the EOM will successfully achieve its mandate".

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