Sudan Polling Stations Open Amid Massive Opposition Boycott
Sudanese polling stations opened their doors Wednesday at the start of a 10-day election that incumbent Islamist military leader Omar al-Beshir and his ruling party look set to win amid a massive opposition boycott.
Voting stations opened at 9:00 am (0600 GMT) across Africa's largest country, with the exception of rebel-held areas in the war-torn south, but the opposition claimed that few of Sudan's 12 million eligible voters would bother turning out.
The country's top job, as well as seats in the 360-member parliament, were up for grabs. Newspapers said 112 candidates, all ruling National Congress (NC) party members, have already been declared de facto MPs, as they stood uncontested.
President Beshir is being challenged by four other presidential candidates, including former President Jaafer Nimeiri, who was overthrown in a popular uprising in 1985, and three other little-known contestants.
Sudan's various opposition parties are boycotting the vote and urging their compatriots not to cast their ballots, protesting that the "totalitarian regime" that came to power by force in a 1989 coup has no mandate to rule -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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