Omer B. Abu Haraz
The military component of the revolution and those who aligned with it, the signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA), and the relics of the ousted regime are all unaware of the radical demographic political structure change in the voters. They call for early elections as a threat to the revolutionaries. They are grossly mistaken because they are dwelling on outdated results of the previous elections since 1952.
All previous elections were tainted with sectarian colors of two main sects – Khatmiya and Ansar -. Both sects were created, supported, and fed by the condominium colonization when the English and Egyptians invaded Sudan defeating the Mahdia 14 years rule in 1898. The two colonizers were a rivalry to have a protracted effect on the governance of Sudan after independence.
Egypt started by supporting and inciting the insurgence of the military college in 1924 under the emblem of the “White Flag” followed by supporting the Khatmiya sect headed by Mawlana Ali Al-Mirghani and supporting also the then-nascent National Unionist Party (DUP) headed by the late leader Ismail Al-Azhari. Both White Flag and NUP together with the Khatmiya sect were leaning toward independence for the British and union with Egypt.
In return, the British revitalized the defeated Mahdia Ansar Sect by supporting them in all aspects and urging them to form a party to oppose the NUP. Since the first election of 1953the two parties ruled alternately after general elections. All democratic rules by the two parties were fiascos, especially the Umma Party which ruled three times and was ousted by military coups of 1958, 1969, and 1989. The ruling of the two sectarian parties was a fiasco because in the 66 years after independence 52 years were the military autocratic rule.
The two sectarian parties with their two custodians – Egypt and the British did a lot of election rigging and gerrymandering of the electoral constituencies.
In all elections since 1953 the two sectarian parties won more than 85% of the parliament seats and formed a weak parliamentary government which led to the three catastrophic military rule for 52 years since 1956.
So by all means parliamentary ruling system proved to be unsuitable for Sudan.
Another very important fact is that in all 10 elections conducted since 1953 the number of voters was between 12 – 15% of the population.
For example in 1965/69 elections voters were 1,819,772 and population of Sudan was 14,256,000 – that is only 12.8% voted, in 1986 elections voters were 3,920,292 and population was 26,400,000 that is 14.8% only. In 2015 the last election population was 36 million, and voters were 3,531,000 which is 9.8% less than ten percent. President Bashir after winning at this low rate reprimanded the Sudanese Islamist Movement (SIM) for its failure to rally more new members.
Now by simple statistics youth population (18 – 45 years) IS 65% of 44 million is 28.5 million and the last voters in 1986 were 3,920,000. So, in 2023 the extrapolated or projected number of voters will be 9.8 million, say 10,000,000 voters. Out of the 28 million youth in the present population of Sudan, only 30% are needed to win any presidential elections. More than 50% are currently active in the streets calling for civilian rule.
In balloting, more than 40% of the youth i.e. about 13 million or more will participate in bulleting as it is by far easier than taking to the streets for six months in a row facing and defying all forms of excessive force.
Go for it and you will succeed at last.