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Sudan summons EU representative over vote criticism

AFP , Friday 10 Apr 2015
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Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the EU representative in Khartoum on Friday to protest a statement issued by Brussels that criticised nationwide elections due to start next week.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement Thursday that the polls "cannot produce a credible result" because of President Omar al-Bashir's failure to establish a genuine national dialogue, which he announced last year.

The foreign ministry summoned the EU representative in Khartoum and handed over a note complaining of the "deliberate distortion of events in Sudan", spokesman Ali Sadeq told AFP.

Sudan is holding presidential and legislative elections over three days starting on Monday.

Bashir is widely expected to extend his rule.

He is facing 15 little-known candidates for the presidency but the mainstream opposition is boycotting.

Bashir had announced a national dialogue to address conflicts on Sudan's peripheries and its battered economy.

But his ruling National Congress Party snubbed a meeting with the opposition in late March to organise the dialogue.

Bashir says the talks will be held after the elections.

"When dialogue is bypassed, some groups are excluded and civil and political rights are infringed, the upcoming elections cannot produce a credible result," Mogherini said on Thursday.

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