Sudan Detains at Least 15 Activists Calling for Election Boycott

Sudan detained at least 15 political activists as they campaigned for a boycott of the nation’s elections that started Monday, an opposition coalition said.

“Despite the government crackdown and arrests, we are continuing the campaign against these illegitimate elections,” Abu Bakr Youssef, spokesman for the National Consensus Forces, said by phone from the capital, Khartoum. The detentions occurred over the past two days, he said.

Sudanese authorities have arrested individuals seeking to interrupt the presidential and parliamentary vote, Hamed Momtaz, political secretary of the ruling National Congress Party, said by phone. He didn’t say how many people were detained nor specify what actions they were accused of.

President Umar al-Bashir is competing against 15 candidates in three days of elections, with Sudan’s major opposition parties declining to field candidates and some calling on people not to vote. The NCF in February began a nationwide campaign to urge a boycott and collect signatures to demand a change of government.

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