December 18, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The former Sudanese prime minister and leader of the opposition Umma Party Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi sharpened his rhetoric unexpectedly against the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) saying that they have to respond to a set of demands by late January.
- former Sudanese prime minister and leader of the opposition Umma Party Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (AFP)
Al-Mahdi was quoted by local media as saying that the ruling party headed by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir must accept the proposal of a national broad-based government that will be tasked with carrying out specific agenda.
According to the prominent opposition figure the interim administration would write a new constitution, conduct new general elections that are fair and free, resolve the Darfur conflict, craft a brotherhood agreement with the south should it opt for independence in next month’s referendum, allowing for unrestricted political, tackling economic crisis an dealing with the International Criminal Court (ICC) row.
He warned that the NCP wants to get rid of the South so it is left to rule the North in the manner they please after the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) is no longer part of the national government.
The former prime minister said that the secession of the South will cause a significant change in the political landscape of Sudan making the status quo “impossible to sustain”.
Al-Mahdi outlined his options should the ruling party refuses to respond to his demands by January 26.
“I personally at this stage of life, seeing with my own eyes the dismantling of Sudan will contemplate two decisions: join the stream of those who want to overthrow Bashir’s rule or the final relinquishment of political role and let the [Umma Party] General Assembly elect the party’s new leadership” he was quoted as saying.
It is not clear what prompted Al-Mahdi’s remarks but many Sudanese analysts have written extensively about the political deadlock in the country as a result of the NCP’s complete control over the decision making process in the North, leaving out all the other major parties.
The Umma Party have had ups and downs in its relations with the NCP that went as far as signing bilateral agreements that have angered other opposition parties and even many figures within Al-Mahdi’s ranks.
The last general elections in April have given the NCP an overwhelming majority in the parliament while retaining the presidency. Most opposition parties boycotted the elections and even those that participated managed to gain a handful of seats in the national assembly.
In a related matter, the head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan Al-Turabi warned that both the North and South will suffer after the likely breakup of the country. He also cautioned that further splits may occur in other parts such as Darfur and the east.
The opposition Islamist leader blamed the people in North and South for not doing enough to change the explosive situation through a popular uprising, according to statements carried by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.