afrol News, 15 April - The Sudanese government has been irked by reports by researchers from some human rights groups to the effect that the government is violating rights and restricting freedoms critical to a fair poll, including freedoms of expression and assembly.
"We are not asking for favours. Our stand is that these reports should be balanced and credible", the Sudanese government spokesperson at her country's Nairobi embassy, Somaya Sadig, said in a rejoinder to the reports released by the human rights researchers.
She stressed that incidents quoted by the human rights organisations that the conditions in Sudan were not yet conducive for a free, fair and credible election, were selective, unfair and isolated.
She charged that the human rights groups were not giving a true and genuine picture of the situation in the vast African nation and were misleading the world by deliberately misrepresenting the facts.
"The human rights groups are ignoring the whole true picture. Their claims that the Sudanese people will not be able to vote freely are baseless and unfounded. If you look at the situation critically, you will conclude that there is equality of chances made possible by the government for all the candidates to speak to the people freely", Ms Sadig pointed out.
She emphasised that there was a machinery organising the equality of access to the official media-radio and television. "Democracy is democracy. It should be given a chance and allowed to prevail. The government does not comprise of angels but it is giving everyone a chance to speak to the people and articulate their agendas in the run
A Sudanese receiving his ballots in Soba, outside Kharthoum
She cautioned that the human rights groups should not influence the free choice of leaders since the Sudanese people were mature to vote for representatives of their own choice.
Allegations that if President Omar al-Bashir is re-elected, it would have been a fraudulent exercise, were "both laughable and baseless" since the Sudanese people have every right to vote for a person of their choice whether or not he has been indicted by the ICC or not, Ms Sadig said in a no statement.
The government, she noted, had guaranteed freedom of expression, association and assembly but it was unfortunate that the observations of these tenets had been ignored by the human rights groups.
Ms Sadig dismissed as untrue claims by the Human Rights Watch that the Sudanese authorities throughout the country were failing to uphold standards agreed with the African Union in March.
The US-based rights group in a thorough March report had concluded that "political repression and other rights violations ahead of the April general elections in Sudan threaten prospects for a free, fair, and credible vote." Human Rights Watch researcher Georgette Gagnon found an unfavourable situation both in North and South Sudan, concluding conditions in the country were "not yet conducive for a free, fair, and credible election."
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