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'We changed the laws' : electoral practice and malpractice in Sudan since 1953.

Willis, Justin and al-Batthani, Atta (2010) ''We changed the laws' : electoral practice and malpractice in Sudan since 1953.', African affairs., 109 (435). pp. 191-212.

Abstract

This article explores the history of elections by secret ballot in Sudan since the 1950s, and considers what lessons this history may offer in the run-up to the national elections planned under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The article locates the repeated use of the secret ballot in Sudan in the context of a wider state-directed project of modernity, for which the secret ballot offers a performative enactment of the relationship between an efficient state and a disciplined citizenry. The article therefore focuses on the actual procedure of elections, rather than on high politics, and it argues that despite a formal insistence on consistent procedure, practice often deviated from the supposed rules. While in some cases such deviations were driven by political manipulation, they were at other times simply the result of a lack of resources; such deviations were covered up by officials who were well aware of the immense value placed on the performance of the secret ballot. It seems likely that the coming elections will see similar problems and deviations from the rules, and that the elections are unlikely to achieve the intended aim of developing a more inclusive political culture

Item Type:Article
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (609Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adq003
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in African affairs following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Willis, Justin and al-Batthani, Atta (2010) ''We changed the laws' : electoral practice and malpractice in Sudan since 1953.', African affairs., 109 (435). pp. 191-212, is available online at: http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/109/435/191
Record Created:19 May 2010 16:20
Last Modified:10 Feb 2011 09:40

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