Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Paper Mill War: Elections Posters in Khartoum

Khartoum's streets are lined with the flickering faces of smiling men whose smiles have now been ripped and bruised. Before everyone pulled out, this election was being fought at the photocopiers. It was a visual fight, a papery race to the ballot. These are just some of the faces inhabiting the walls and streets of Khartoum this month...

The Sudanese Youth Federation implores you:
"to affirm your right and vote for a better tomorrow!"

The Umma Party Reform candidate Mubarark El Fadil El Mahdi. The Umma Party was the winner of the last national elections in 1986. This government was ousted in the military coup in 1989. The leader of the main Umma Party is still Sadiq al Mahdi. This is another faction, the Reform and Renewal's candidate, Mubarak El Fadil El Mahdi. The two factions unified about two weeks ago. They have now withdrawn from the presidency, though I believe they are still running in specific seats. 

At the bottom, it reads:
"For a redefinition of the Sudanese state" 
(it's a pity this bit of the poster is so tiny!)

The DUP party is the other historical party in Sudan. It is associated with the Al Mirghani family. Their leader is Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani. I can't find any presidential posters but here are some posters for their Khartoum candidates. They pulled out of the elections but have now re-joined the process. There is a rumour that they were paid to do so (but this is just a rumour that no-one can prove. ;)

And here is Omar Bashir. The NCP party candidate and presiding head of state. The NCP has chosen a tree as its symbol. Its roots represent the rivers of Sudan. In the background, there is a photograph of Merowe Dam. This was built last year and inaugurated directly after the ICC indictment against Bashir. 

Jousting for space along the road...

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement's candidate, Yassir Sayeed Arman. This party started as a liberation movement in Southern Sudan, led by John Garang. The NCP and the SPLM signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 . The election is part of this process, as is the referendum on Southern independence next year. Before he withdrew from the presidential race last week, he promised to "Activate the Participation of Women in Public Life"
The SPLM is now running in the South but not in the North.

The Sudanese Group for Democracy and Elections says 
"Together, we can have free and fair elections!"

I wish I had had the good sense to take a photograph of this telegraph pole every day to document the change. Now the NCP has won the fight, but it has been a real paper mill battleground, with each party trying to claim it as their own. At the top, you can see some Umma posters, SPLM in the middle and independents at the bottom. Now it is Bashir land.

Democratic Union Party. National Council candidate, 
Professor Mohamed Ali Aoud Karim. 
His face is all over the place. 
Here he is in a suit

and here he is in Jallabiya. Got to cover all sides!

Another NCP poster. Check out the visuals at the bottom. DEVELOPMENT! There was apparently some kind of ceremony at the Merowe dam this week, just in time for the elections!
(so why have we been having so many power cuts?)

A DUP poster erected in the last two days. There were none this size before last week. I wonder why...

Another NCP poster. 

Mahjoub Mohamed Khaled
The Sudanese Communist Party. 
They propose:
"Balanced development
Strong peace
One Nation
Entrenched democracy!"

Fatima Abd Al Mahmoud.
For President. 
"For women and families
Democracy and Free Education and Health
Well-being and Rural Development for Sudan
She is the first female presidential candidate and she has chosen a pigeon as a symbol.

This is the presidential candidate for the Communist Party: Mohamed Ibrahim Naqd.
I like his hand gesture. 

Another DUP poster. 

An independent. He has chosen a football.

Galal Mohamed Salah Al Naqari. The PCP party (Turabi's party).
Turabi was part of the government in the early 1990's. He was pushed out and formed his own party, the PCP. They are still taking part in the election.

Here he is for the disabled and handicapped. 

A huge Yassir Arman sign on the side of the road. The rumour is that they had to pay A LOT of money to the NCP for this privilege. 

Women's alliance parties.
List of Women running for the National Council.
"For the sake of a better life for the Good People."

"There are many voters but one word: YES"

An independent for Khartoum state. He has chosen a bell as his symbol.

For the Khartoum State Assembly, Umma Party: Mohamed Akasha Ahmed Akasha

This photo comes from the rally after the ICC indictment. 
It's only a little reassuring that they can't spell. 

Another SPLM.

This time his poster reads "For peace, security and prosperity!"

Hope and Change? Inshallah....

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