Will Sudan maintain peace after the announcements of election results?

By Zechariah Manyok Biar

April 21, 2010 (SSNA) — Everybody, including analysts who predicted some months ago that there was going to be a widespread violence during elections in Sudan, now agrees that the voting process in Sudan was peaceful. But they still know that a peaceful voting does not mean the completion of peaceful elections. Announcements of results sometimes result in violence, like what happened in Kenya during the elections of 2007.

The analysts who think that the peaceful process of elections in Sudan is far from over do have a point. We see some glimpse of violence now all over Sudan. Some candidates who think that they will lose elections are allegedly intimidating Electoral Commission officials to declare them winners, others are giving signals that their victory is going to be interfered with, and others are calling for the cancelling of the whole process and starting it over again.

These groups or individuals may have points in what they say. But nobody is ready to bless their leaning toward violence. We know that the era of coup d’état is over. Those who force their ways into power these days render themselves illegitimate in the eyes of the international community. So, violence after elections has become a means of forcing the government to form a coalition government.

The coalition government was the solution that the committee under the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan came up with in Kenya to end the aftermath of elections that resulted in the death of more than one thousand innocent civilians by the end of 2007 and at the beginning of 2008. The elections in Zimbabwe again resulted in the formation of the coalition government after the death of many innocent civilians.

This is what some politicians might be aiming at in Sudan this time. They may incite violence in order for the international community to call for the formation of a coalition government. But they must know that we the people of Sudan will not be impressed by such a move. Politicians must not buy their way into power with the blood of innocent civilians.

The international community must discourage the culture of the coalition government, if democracy should maintain its image. Any country that believes in the coalition government should put the system in its constitution so that the coalition government is not bought with the blood of innocent people.

When people peacefully vote for the leaders they want, they want good life. Nobody has the rights to kill these peaceful citizens who express their voices in ballot boxes.

Politicians in Sudan who may lose the elections this time must understand that losing elections is not the end of their political career; it might be the beginning of their effectiveness in their political career, if they are willing to learn from their failure. They can ask themselves why they lost to their opponents and adjust themselves for next elections.

What would be the end of the political career of many politicians in Sudan this time is if they incite violence and contribute to the death of innocent people. We are making history in our nation. We will hold anybody accountable for causing any death of innocent people for power-greed.

The process that we will respect, as the citizens of Sudan, is the challenge of results in court by anybody who thinks that he or she is the winner and not declared as one. The court can order the recounting of votes to find out any foul play practiced during the announcement of winners. We do not believe in allegations of fraud, we believe in the concrete evidence of fraud.

Those who think that the elections should be cancelled will only have the point if they had boycotted elections. But if they participated in elections and they now say that the process should be cancelled and started over again, then they are telling us that the elections can be free and fair only if they are the winners. Who will buy such an argument?

In conclusion, our politicians must respect the choice of people. The winners must be given what they deserve. But if they are not given what they deserve, they must follow the rule of law in order to avoid the death of innocent civilians. The respect for the rule of law will also complete the peaceful process of elections in our country.

Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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