12 Apr 2010

Confusion, delays in Sudan elections

9:21 pm on 12 April 2010

Voting in Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years has started for a second day amid reports of confusion and disarray in many regions.

The process generally went well in the capital Khartoum, but voters faced obstacles in several states from the Red Sea in the north to the far south, the BBC reports.

The dominant party in the south is calling for a four-day extension.

The presidential, parliamentary and state polls are part of the deal that ended Sudan's north-south civil war.

The country's two most influential men, President Omar al-Bashir, and Salva Kiir, who leads largely autonomous Southern Sudan, are expected to retain their positions.

Mr Bashir is seeking a democratic mandate since being indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur but a boycott of the poll by his two main challengers means his mandate is likely to be reduced.

Mr Kiir, who is standing unopposed, was forced to wait for his polling station to open in the southern capital Juba but he said afterwards that he had a "good feeling" about the country's political future, the BBC reports.