U.S., UK, Norway slam Sudan polls as not credible

The U.S., Britain and Norway blasted Sudan for failing to hold free and fair elections

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The U.S., Britain and Norway on Monday blasted Sudan for failing to hold free and fair elections which alleged war criminal President Omar al-Bashir is widely expected to win.

In a joint statement the three countries said they "regret the government of Sudan's failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment."

They blamed low voter turnout on "restrictions on political rights and freedoms" as well as continued fighting in parts of the country.

"The outcome of these elections cannot be considered a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people," the joint statement added.

"We condemn the acts of violence during the election period and continue to support those Sudanese who wish to peacefully advance a comprehensive and legitimate political process of dialogue" aimed at achieving reform and stability.

Polls closed on Thursday after the nationwide elections were extended for a day due to the low turnout.

Bashir, 71, indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, is seeking to extend his rule in only the second contested ballot held since he seized power in 1989.

He was virtually unopposed in the race, facing 13 little known challengers and an opposition boycott.

Two presidential candidates pulled out on Wednesday after the voting extension was announced, pointing to "irregularities" in the electoral process.

Results are expected in late April, but if a single candidate does not get an outright majority, there would have to be a second round.

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