China welcomes 'stable' Sudan elections
Beijing (AFP) April 20, 2010
China welcomed on Tuesday the first multi-party elections to take place in close ally Sudan in 24 years, which it said had been orderly despite accusations by the opposition of vote-rigging.
"We were happy to see that the election took place in an orderly and stable fashion," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters at a regular press briefing.
She said China -- whose leaders are not popularly elected -- had sent independent observers for the vote in Sudan, which exports oil to China.
"I am sure that this election, which suffered no problems, will benefit the reconciliation between the North and the South and the realisation of peace and stability in Sudan and in the region," Jiang said.
She added China stood ready to continue to make "positive and constructive efforts" with the international community "to help the peace process" in Sudan.
The Sudanese people voted for five days until last Thursday for their president as well as legislative and local representatives in the country's first multi-party election since 1986.
The election is likely to see the return to power of President Omar al-Beshir, who seized control of Africa's largest country in a military coup backed by Islamists in 1989.
But a significant part of the opposition boycotted the election, accusing Beshir's ruling National Congress Party of rigging the vote, which was marred by delays and logistical problems.
International observers from the Carter Centre and the European Union said on Saturday that the polls had failed to reach international standards.
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