Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Sudan Ruling Party Rejects Calls for al-Bashir to Step Down
December 1 , January 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling National Congress Party (NCP)Tuesday rejected calls by a number of political forces that took part in the national dialogue to President Omer al-Bashir to step down saying this demand is an exit of the national consensus reached at the end of the dialogue conference held in October 2016.

Also, the opposition groups inside and outside Sudan signed a joint declaration calling for the removal of al-Bashir’s regime.

In response to the nationwide demonstrations calling President Omer al-Bashir to leave, some 22 political groups participating the National Consensus Government withdraw their representatives in the government or legislative organs and addressed a memorandum to President Omer al-Bashir asking him to transfer power to a collegial presidential council called Sovereignty Council.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, they also called to form a transitional government mainly composed of technocrats and professionals to settle the economic crisis and to normalize Sudan’s relations with the region and international community. Furthermore, this government will discuss peace with the rebel groups and prepare for general elections.

The political forces, which did not call for regime change but appealed to a peaceful transition in the country, further proposed to dissolve the current parliament and to appoint a consensual transitional assembly of 100 members.

Commenting on the memorandum, the head of the NCP Media Sector Ibrahim al-Siddiq Tuesday said their decision to withdraw from the government is "an exit of the national consensus represented by the National Document and contrary to the political ethics."

"Some of the leaders of this group are known to be skilful political adventurers and (experts in the) change of attitudes. So this gives an idea about their lack of principled political action," al-Siddiq said in a statement released on the NCP page on Facebook.

He went further to minimize the impact of these defectors saying they have limited participation in the executive and legislative bodies and have no political weight in the country.

He particularly cited Ghazi Salah al-Din of the Reform Now Movement and Mubarak al-Fadel al-Mahdi. He said their MPs approved the budget two days ago and today attempt to blame the others for the current economic policies adding this is "purely political opportunism".

To make it clear they do not want a regime change but political reforms, the signatories proposed that the transitional government will adopt the African Union roadmap for peace in Sudan, to open the recommendations of the national dialogue for discussions with the opposition groups, and to ensure freedoms and human rights.


In a related development, the Sudanese Professional Association, and the opposition groups including the National Consensus Alliance, Sudan Call and the Unionist Gathering launched the Declaration of Freedom and Change which calls on al-Bashir to step down with his whole regime.

The opposition forces reiterate their commitment for peaceful means to achieve regime change.

They also say the transitional technocrat government would last for four years during which it would hold a constitutional conference after ending the conflicts and negotiating the security arrangements with the armed groups.

The armed groups of the Sudan Call say they want a peace agreement to end the war, pointing to the fate of their fighters, adding that the other matters can be discussed in the constitutional conference.

The text of the declaration includes issues similar to the memo of the 22 parties in term of economic reforms and ending Sudan’s regional and international isolation.

It also speaks about the need to address the root causes of the Sudanese crisis and to repatriate the displaced persons and refugees to their areas of origin, to pay them financial compensation and to return their grabbed land.

Also, it underscores the need to review the organisation of the army and security service as well as the civil service in a way to end the NCP control over these institutions.

Minni Minnawi, the Sudan Call Secretary-General issued a statement welcoming the memo of the 22 groups that distanced themselves from the regime called on al-Bashir to step down.

"We, the Sudan Call forces and our partners in the opposition forces reaffirm our support the revolution," Minnawi said adding that the signing of the Declaration of Freedom and Change by the Sudan Call aims to strengthen the unity of the forces of change.

He further stressed they will not deviate from the demands included in this declaration starting by al-Bashir resignation and the removal of his regime.


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