January 1, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP) Mubarak Al-Fadil announced unexpectedly on Friday that he will dissolve his party effective immediately and reintegrate with the mainstream National Umma Party (NUP) led by his cousin and former prime minister Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
- Leader of the dissolved Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP) Mubarak Al-Fadil (R) talking to head of the National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (Photo: courtesy of Mohamed Adil)
“After consultation, the party’s bodies decided which was preceded by a decision of the third party general convention in May 2009….they have decided that the unity should take place immediately with the [National] Umma Party and dissolving the Umma Reform and Renewal Party,” Al-Fadil said at a press conference.
The announcement was met by cheers from his jubilant supporters who shouted “God is great, praises to Allah”.
Al-Fadil said that “it is pointless” to continue talking with NUP on organizational issues when the “ship [of Sudan] is sinking”.
Sources in the NUP told Sudan Tribune that the decision was made after consultation with Al-Mahdi who met Al-Fadil on Thursday to prepare for the announcement.
Al-Mahdi has yet to make a formal response but Sudan Tribune has learned that he intends to welcome the move and call on the former defectors to join the ranks.
The NUP leader in the past insisted that in order to accommodate the URRP within its ranks, a party general conference need to be held out of cycle. He said that the constitution only allows for that to take place in exceptional circumstances which is not the case at the moment.
Some observers said that Al-Mahdi was seeking to frustrate unity efforts by making this stipulation despite growing pressure from the base to complete the integration.
Al-Fadil left the NUP after differing with the ex-PM on the issue of participating in the government dominated by the National Congress Party (NCP). Al-Mahdi rejected the idea of joining a “non-democratically elected government”.
Both men traded accusations both publicly and in private circles for failures and mishaps within the Umma Party and even went as far as personal and family matters.
Al-Fadil was appointed by Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir as a presidential adviser for economic affairs in 2002 before being removed in October 2004. He has became one of the fiercest critics of the NCP ever since.
He was arrested in 2007 after being accused of plotting a coup but was released after the information possessed by the government proved to be false