SUDAN / NATIONAL ELECTIONS

25-Nov-2008 00:02:14
Sudan's National Elections Commission is sworn in at the Republican Palace in Khartoum, ushering a way forward. The event, hosted by the country's President Omar Al Bashir, is a milestone in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005. UNMIS

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STORY: SUDAN / NATIONAL ELECTIONS
TRT: 2.14
SOURCE: UNMIS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ ARABIC/NATS

DATELINE: 25 NOVEMBER 2008, KHARTOUM

SHOTLIST:

25 NOVEMBER 2008, KHARTOUM, SUDAN

1. Wide of exterior of Republican Palace
2. Wide of senior government delegation including Sudan President Omar al Bashir
3. Sudan President Omar Al Bashir, and First Vice President Salva Kiir in black hat
4. Sudan President Omar Al Bashir, and First Vice President Salva Kiir in black hat and Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha
5. Members of the National Election Commission walking to podium
6. Various of the National Election Commission being sworn in
7. President Omar Al Bashir
8. Swearing in of members of the Political Parties Council
9. Sudanese Flag
10. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir
"Today we witness the swearing in if the National Elections Commission, and it is an important step towards making elections that will be free and fair, and you witness the names of the members of the Commission, which is a group of good Sudanese sons. Everybody witnesses that they are free and fair, which is the beginning of the next step for Sudan."
11. Various of Chairperson of the National Elections Commission being congratulated

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier
"It's an important phase in the execution, implementation of the CPA. It's not an easy task, it's not an easy task and we ask everybody, we ask God to help us in this type of work."

13. More of Chairperson of the National Elections Commission being congratulated.


STORYLINE:

Sudan's National Elections Commission was on Tuesday sworn in at the Republican Palace in Khartoum, ushering a way forward to a possible election – a date yet to be announced.

The event hosted by the country's President Omar Al Bashir, is a milestone in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005.

Witnessing the swearing were the First Vice President Salva Kiir, the Second Vice President, senior government officials, and members of the diplomatic coup.

The Special Representative of the UN Mission in Sudan, Ashraf Qazi was also present at the event, in which Omar Al Bashir acknowledged there will be challenges ahead, but said it was hoped that the electoral commission which is now responsible in ensuring that elections take place, will help ensure elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.

Bashir noted that this was a landmark day in which Sudanese should thank God for helping the country implement a political and democratic system.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir
"Today we witness the swearing in if the National Elections Commission, and it is an important step towards making elections that will be free and fair, and you witness the names of the members of the Commission, which is a group of good Sudanese sons. Everybody witnesses that they are free and fair, which is the beginning of the next step for Sudan."

Sudan's Parliament on Monday (17 November) approved a nine-man national electoral commission whose task will be to set an election date, and look into various aspects of ensuring that free and fair elections are conducted countrywide.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is an independent body responsible for organizing and conducting the elections, which represent an important cornerstone of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

It is expected that there will be many first-time voters, in a national election which will see the participation of both the north and the south.

The Chairperson of the nine-man electoral commission said the electoral process would not be an easy task.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier
"It's an important phase in the execution, implementation of the CPA. It's not an easy task, it's not an easy task and we ask everybody, we ask God to help us in this type of work."

This election, initially expected to take place in mid-2009 will be Sudan's first elections in about 25 years.

The electoral law was adopted by the National Assembly on 7 July, and ratified by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on 14 July.

Observers say that the electoral process will be one of the most important, delicate and sensitive political developments for Sudan, whose current president came into power through a military coup in 1989.
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U081125f