Critics renew charges of election fraud in Sudan
Critics raise pressure in vote fraud charges
Two parties in Sudan's underdeveloped east accused the president's party on Tuesday of using fraud and intimidation to secure election victories across their region, and the White House said the vote had been beset by "serious irregularities."
Sudan is holding its first open polls in 24 years as part of a peace deal meant to bring the oil-producing nation back to democracy after decades of civil war.
Much of the opposition boycotted the proceedings before voting started, citing irregularities, and observers have said the elections did not meet international standards.
Officials are still counting ballots in many areas, but the few results they have announced point to a big win for the National Congress Party, led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The United States has said the elections were neither free nor fair and redoubled its criticism Tuesday.
"Political rights and freedoms were circumscribed throughout the electoral process, there were reports of intimidation and threats of violence in South Sudan, ongoing conflict in Darfur did not permit an environment conducive to acceptable elections, and inadequacies in technical preparations for the vote resulted in serious irregularities," the White House said in a statement.
Ousted president in exile in Belarus
Kyrgyzstan's ousted president was in exile in Belarus on Tuesday, and the interim authorities controlling Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, warned that he would be imprisoned if he tried to return to the Central Asian country.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who fled the capital after an April 7 protest rally that exploded into gunfire and left 85 people dead, had taken refuge last week in neighboring Kazakhstan, then left Monday without announcing a destination.