Parliamentary Chamber: Majlis Watani


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  Majlis Watani

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  13 December 2000
23 December 2000

Purpose of elections:

  For the first time since Parliament was suspended in December 1999 by Presidential decree, elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly. General elections had previously been held in March 1996.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Voting was held over a ten-day period, starting on 13 December 2000, to allow the Sudanese nomad population to cast their votes. These were the first legislative and presidential elections since the Parliament was dissolved in December 1999 by a Presidential Decree, after the President Omar al-Bashir had split with his former ally, Hassan al-Turabi. They were the first elections held under the new Constitution approved in 1998, which permitted the existence of political parties (to be known as political associations). Political parties had been banned in June 1989.

The elections were boycotted by the main opposition parties, including Ummah, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Popular National Congress (PNC), led by Hassan al-Turabi. Earlier in December 2000, they had filed a suit demanding the postponement of the elections, that was rejected by the Constitutional Court. Only Mr Bashir's National Congress and a small group of minority parties, of which the background, policies and programmes were hardly known, remained to contest the polls. As a result, 112 of the 360 seats in the National Assembly went uncontested to the ruling National Congress.

Of the five presidential candidates contesting the polls, only two were well-known: President Omar al-Bashir and Mr Jafaar al-Nimeri, who was overthrown in a popular uprising in 1985. Mr Sadiq al-Mahdi, the former Prime Minister overthrown by President Bashir in 1989 and who returned from self-imposed exile one month before the elections, refused to take part in the polls.

One week before the elections, seven leaders of the National Democratic alliance (NDA), an umbrella group for the northern and southern opposition, including the Sudan's People's Liberation Movement Army (SPLM/A), were arrested and accused of plotting with a US diplomat who was expelled from the country.

Voting did not take place in 3 of the 26 states of the country, all of them in the south, which is under the control of rebels after two decades of civil war.

The European Union declined the invitation to monitor the vote, but the Arab League and the Organisation of African Unity (OUA) each sent teams of observers. The OUA observer team declared that the elections had been conducted in "a satisfactory manner, despite boycotts by some major political parties".

The results published by the General Elections Authority showed that incumbent President Omar al-Bashir had been re-elected for another five-year term. Official results gave him more than 86% of the vote, with 9% going to his closest rival, Jafaar al-Nimeri. In the National Assembly, his National Congress, gained 355 of the 360 seats.

On 12 February 2001, Mr Omar el-Bashir was sworn in for a second term.

Round no 1 (13 December 2000): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 12 000 000

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Congress 355
Independents 5

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 325
Women: 35
Percent of women: 9.72

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Copyright 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union