Fatima Abdel-Mahmoud

Fatima Abdel Mahmoud (sometimes spelled Mahmood) is a Sudanese politician, leader of the Sudanese Socialist Democratic Union. She was in 1973 one of the first women to hold political office in the Sudan, and she contested the April 2010 Sudanese general election as the country's first female presidential candidate.[1]

Parliamentary career

Abdel Mahmoud was born in the mid-1940s.[1] She studied medicine in Moscow in the 1960s[2] and qualified as a paediatrician.[1] She was in 1973 appointed deputy minister of youth, sports, and social affairs. Her appointment, along with that of Sayeda Nafeisa Ahmed al Amin as a member of the ruling Sudanese Socialist Union politburo, made international news at a time when contemporary estimates put the Sudanese female literacy rate at 10 per cent.[2] She served in parliament for 10 years.[1]

Presidential candidacy

In April 2010 Sudan held its first fully contested elections (i.e. the first to include candidates from opposition parties) since 1986. Abdel Mahmoud's presidential candidacy, along with that of two other aspirants, had in January 2010 been rejected by the Sudanese National Elections Commission, which claimed that Abdel Mahmoud's campaign had failed to secure the necessary stamps on a required list of signatures endorsing her candidacy.[3] Abdel Mahmoud and her supporters protested the decision, which they described as representative of a conspiracy against women, and her candidacy was reinstated by an appeal court before the election.[1]

Many opposition parties eventually boycotted the poll, claiming that it was rigged in favour of incumbent president Omar al-Bashir.[4] Al-Bashir went on to win the election decisively. Election results showed that Abdel Mahmoud had polled 0.3% of the total vote.[5]


External links

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