International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Elections set to begin in Sudan tomorrow, expectations for a victory by incumbent al-Bashir

Incumbent al-Bashir is expected to continue his time as President of Sudan after elections held over the course of the next three days will come to a conclusion. Although al-Bashir has held office for over 25 years, the political climate seems to be relatively non-competitive in the race for president. Despite almost 15 other presidential candidates in the race, there are extremely low expectations for any sort of impact on the likelihood of al-Bashir’s impending victory by these other candidates. In the country that has recently been dealing with crises such as South Sudan’s succession and accusations by the international community of the commitment of war crimes and other crimes against humanity, it is quite intriguing that there is not a stronger dissent group to the continuation of al-Bashir as president.

Interestingly, there is a small opposition group that is choosing to boycott the elections and voting altogether in order to make a statement against the reign of al-Bashir. Many people believe, however, that by boycotting the elections, this opposition group is not making a realistic impact on the elections. Much of the opposition group’s concerns and reasoning for boycotting the elections is centered around the plausibility of fairness in the elections. Additionally, concerns about the government rigging the elections and violence are those most cited as reasoning for boycotting the elections. The elections, however, are to be formally observed by the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Arab League–all organizations which have pledged to ensure fairness and transparency throughout the elections.

The outcome of the elections will be most interesting in relation to the International Criminal Court because if al-Bashir is no longer in power, there is a greater potential for pursuing the trial against him for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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