I spent the whole day trying to get through to my wife in Sudan. “The number you are trying to reach is unavailable, please try again later”.
Worried. All sorts of scenarios playing out in my head as to what might have happened. Forcing myself to assume her phone was off, battery was low or something like that.
Finally talked to her around 9:30 this evening.
“These are not elections” she tells me. “They have chased away any agents of other parties from the polling stations. I spent the day going around visiting all the locations here and it was the same everywhere. The commissioner went to Gumuruk this morning and closed the polls. He and his people were inside the building filling out sheets. In Manyabol, nobody voted. They were told if they voted for anyone other than party they would be beaten or shot immediately afterwards. They said they had no interest in voting if that was the case. Up till now no one has bothered to vote there.”
The network kept cutting out. Its frustrating trying to communicate. Mary can only here me in bits and pieces. She comes through clear as a bell. I waste most of the time trying to repeat my questions. “Did you vote? Did. You. Vote. ?? Can you hear me? Hello?” Line goes dead.
“All the other parties want to boycott. We want to protest the voting process. I don’t know who to talk with. We need observers. No one from the government is here or from anywhere else. Its just the local guys. They will probably be filling out all the forms at night. They are stealing the election.”
I can hear the frustration in her voice. Partly cause she can’t hear me, but primarily because she sees that this whole process is just one big joke. She has put alot of effort and had to sacrifice quite a few things just to get where she is right now. She was hoping that this could be a real election, even if she lost. But it is not. Its fake.