Khartoum — According to a recent report in Sudanese daily Al-Ra’i Al-Amm, Sudan’s National Election Commission has named Halayeb and Shalatin — two villages situated on Egyptian territory adjacent to the border — as electoral constituencies, giving local residents the right to vote in Sudanese parliamentary elections.
According to commission head Mokhtar el-Assam, the decision was taken after a quorum for national elections could not be reached. “All the inhabitants there are Sudanese citizens who have a constitutional right to vote,” he said.
African Association Secretary-General Ahmed Haggag said that Egyptian-Sudanese relations were “too solid” to be adversely affected by the move.
Hani Raslan, head of the Nile Basin department at Cairo’s Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said the timing of the decision was unfortunate. “The decision was taken as a result of ulterior political motives and internal divisions and could jeopardize Sudan’s relations with Egypt,” he said.
Raslan added that the two villages were “completely Egyptian,” pointing out that both were located north of the 22nd parallel that marks the frontier between the two countries.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.