Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sudan’s Ruling Party and DUP to Review Troubled Political Partnership
February 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - A joint committee between Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman al-Merghani will discuss Tuesday the latter’s reservations about its participation in the government.

Last week, Sudan’s presidential aide and the de facto chairman of the DUP, Mohamed al-Hassan al-Merghani, threatened to withdraw from the government, saying no real job has been assigned to him since assuming office last year.

Al-Hassan further distributed a questionnaire among his party leaders and sectors seeking their ruling on whether to continue to join or pull out from the government.

Well-informed sources told Sudan Tribune that a joint committee including four members from each party has been formed to discuss the DUP’s reservations.

The same sources said the members of the committee from the DUP side include the minister of human development and labor in Khartoum state Osama Hassoun, the deputy parliament speaker Aisha Salih, the chairman of the DUP’s parliamentary bloc Ibrahim Mahgoub and the MP Ahmed al-Tayeb al-Mikabrabi.

According to the sources, the DUP members of the joint committee were selected by al-Hassan who is currently staying abroad.

Meanwhile, Sudan Tribune learnt that the members of the joint committee from the NCP side include the presidential aide Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, the head of the political sector Mustafa Osman Ismail and the political secretary Hamid Mumtaz.

A leading DUP figure said the joint committee will hold its first meeting on Tuesday to review the DUP’s participation in the executive and legislative bodies at both federal and states levels “quantitatively and qualitatively”.

He added the DUP would propose the political dossiers that must be assigned to its representatives in the government in order “to ensure that their participation in the government is real not decorative”.

He described the joint committee as the “final opportunity” to ensure the continuation of the partnership between the DUP and the NCP, saying its recommendations would determine the future of the DUP participation in the government.

The DUP left opposition ranks and joined the “broad-based” government of the NCP in December 2011, citing the “need to save the country” in the words of the party leader, Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani.

It is worth to mention that al-Hassan, who is the son of the DUP leader, has orchestrated the party’s participation in the general elections of last April despite stiff opposition from senior DUP figures.

The decision of one of Sudan’s biggest opposition parties to join the government has created a great deal of internal dissent that saw many members quitting in protest.

The party received the post of a presidential assistant and three ministries in the federal cabinet and continues to serve under this allocation.

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