More than 100,000 people have cast their votes in Khartoum to elect Sudan's new national assembly.
More than 100,000 people have cast their votes in Khartoum to elect Sudan's new national assembly. The poll is part of a move by President Ja'afar Nimeiry to reconcile rival political factions -- particularly the National Front right-wing opposition party.
SYNOPSIS: The elections, which President Nimeiry called in December last year, are of special significance to the Sudanese. Although all candidates must stand as members of the Sudanese Socialist Union, many were fielded by right-wing parties which are officially banned. They are being allowed to stand as part of a reconciliation process which President Nimeiry has been negotiating recently. According to The Guardian newspaper the eventual form of government depends on how the National Front candidates fare in the election.
The rapprochement began last July when President Nimeiry held secret talks with National Front leader Sadiq el Mahdi. These were aimed at breaking the internal political deadlock which has existed since an attempted coup by National Front supporters in July 1976. The elections, which will pave the way for a multi-party assembly, follow the release of more than 4,000 political prisoners.