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Sudan’s ruling party slams opposition for resisting participation in government


September 20, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – A senior official at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday criticised the opposition parties for resisting participation in the upcoming cabinet which will be the first after the country’s breakup more than two months a go.

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The political Secretary of the National Congress Party Ibrahim Ghandour (Al-Jazeera)

South Sudan officially became an independent state in July after its citizens voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession from the North. Southerners who were part of the federal government automatically lost their positions as a result.

The delay in forming a new government since the south’s secession was attributed to the ongoing negotiations between the NCP and major opposition parties including National Umma Party (NUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The NUP leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and DUP chief Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani have made it clear that they are not interested in participating in a government without agreement on a national agenda that would address the country’s crises.

But several officials within the DUP have given contradictory statements on their position with regard to partaking in the new cabinet.

Observers say that despite the NCP achieving a landslide victory in April 2010 elections, it still feels the need for bolstering its legitimacy by having opposition parties entering the cabinet. While the NUP boycotted the elections, the DUP did not but only managed to win a handful of seats in the national assembly.

The polls were boycotted by most major opposition parties in North Sudan at the time who claimed fraud and party’s control over the state gives the NCP an unfair advantage.

Well placed sources told Sudan Tribune that the cabinet formation is now in the hands of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie who is currently on a trip to Paris.

The proposed government will be tabled at the NCP leadership bureau meeting on Wednesday so that it is endorsed and officially announced no later than Friday, sources added.

But other sources suggest that the announcement may wait a little longer on the hope that the NUP and DUP may agree to participate at the 11th hour.

The NCP spokesperson Ibrahim Ghandour warned that his party’s patience is not open ended noting that talks with these parties lasted for over a year and a half without any results. He nonetheless said that the ruling party has not given up completely and will continue dialogue without compromising the interests of the people.

Ghandour stressed that negotiations are focused on the new government’s programme and not the numerical allocation of posts. He denied that any pledges were made to either parties on how much share they will get in the upcoming cabinet.

The NCP official added that meeting between Bashir and al-Mahdi was delayed numerous times due to the NUP leader’s frequent travels but noted that nothing stops them from holding talks anytime in the future.


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