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Sudan: Politics and Government

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what preparations the Government are involved in to ensure that forthcoming elections in Sudan are adequately monitored by international representatives. (149984)

While preparations for the 2008-09 elections are under way, we and other donors are concerned that the elections process is behind schedule.

We are pushing all sides, including our international partners, to ensure that they implement their commitments, including on elections, under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as quickly as possible. We have taken the initiative to develop a joint donor strategy to co-ordinate support for the elections, including the need for effective election monitoring. We are pressing the UN to lead on election monitoring work. The EU has not yet indicated what its role will be in respect of election monitoring.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding he has made available to the different political parties operating in Sudan to assist their preparations for elections in 2009; and if he will make a statement. (149985)

The UK is providing technical assistance and capacity building activities to support the major political parties in the Sudan in preparing for the 2008-09 elections. We are currently funding a 30-month project implemented by a consortium led by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance of Sweden. The project budget of £550,000 covers workshops to train party representatives in democratic principles, the elections process, the representation of women and minorities and how to run election campaigns.

We are considering options to expand the political parties training project to a larger number of parties in both the north and south and to fund media training on election reporting.