Polls open in Sudan presidential, parliamentary elections

Polls open in Sudan presidential, parliamentary elections

KHARTOUM - Agence France-Presse
Polls open in Sudan presidential, parliamentary elections

AP Photo

Polls opened on April 13 in Sudanese presidential and parliamentary elections that are expected to extend the quarter-century rule of incumbent Omar al-Bashir as the opposition boycotts.

Outside a polling station in Khartoum's El-Daim neighbourhood representatives of the candidates had already set up stalls, and inside electoral volunteers waited for the first voters in the three-day elections which have already drawn international criticism.    

A team of four local observers watched over the ballot boxes, while the streets outside were quiet after the government declared polling day a public holiday late the night before.
The mainstream opposition is boycotting the elections and has called on voters to stay away, saying that the conditions in the country are not right for free and fair polls.
Facing just a clutch of little-known challengers, Bashir, the world's only sitting head of state wanted on war crimes charges, is widely expected to win comfortably.
The European Union warned ahead of the vote that it could not produce a "credible" result because Bashir's National Congress Party snubbed a meeting with the opposition to organise a national dialogue last month.
The elections for the presidency and the national and state parliaments end on April 15 and the results are expected at the end of April.