President Bashir Ahead as Sudan Counts Vote
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was set for a sweeping victory Sunday as first results were released from an election plagued by a massive opposition boycott.
The General Election Commission said Bashir won 41,514 votes in Berber province of River Nile state, compared with 2,924 votes for presidential candidate Jaafer Nimeiri, a former dictator who was ousted in a 1985 uprising, and even smaller showings for three other candidates.
Bashir won by similar margins in four other provinces for which vote tallies were released, in a country that has 26 states.
Barring any last-hour decision, election authorities are set to release final results Monday.
The 10-day presidential and parliamentary vote, which ended Friday, fell short of what western diplomats had said was a modest goal of drawing enough turnout to show it had some popular support.
Some Sudanese officials blamed the poor turnout on the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, while others said voters were too disgusted with poor living conditions to bother going to the polls.
But opposition parties claim most Sudanese still back them as they did in the last multiparty election in 1986 and shunned polling stations where only government candidates or the occasional independent were listed -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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