January 28, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The chairperson of the Sudanese parliament’s Law Subcommittee, Badria Suleiman, said Monday that the opposition parties which signed the "New Dawn" charter in Uganda this month need to be held accountable.
- Sudan’s national assembly (FILE)
Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) newspaper on Monday, Suleiman called the charter a "criminal project" that seeks to topple the regime through both peaceful means and a military campaign.
The signatories to the deal included the National Umma Party (NUP), Popular Congress Party (PCP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nur (SLM-AW) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM).
The participants agreed on the goal of changing the regime but were at odds over whether they should use political or military means. They also concurred on the need to prevent exploitation of religion in politics.
The NUP, PCP and SCP later appeared to distance themselves from the agreement saying they were rushed into signing and voiced objections over some of its clauses.
The Sudanese government and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) launched a fierce campaign against the charter saying it wants to turn Sudan into a secular state and undermine the country’s institutions particularly the military.
Suleiman said that the signatories are subject to punishment on different criminal counts and called for investigation into the participation of political parties in drafting the document.
She stressed that in accordance with international law only the government of Sudan is authorised to conduct talks with armed rebel groups and not opposition parties.
Suleiman urged the Parties’ Council, which oversees registration the activities of political parties in the country, to investigate the matter and submit a report to the Constitutional Court.
"If it is proven by evidence then sanctions could include disbanding parties, suspending its activities and bar it from running in elections," she said.
She rejected the opposition’s claim that the signatories were not representative of the parties saying that 15 people signed on behalf of the different political parties.
At the same forum, the Secretary-General of the NUP, Ibrahim Al-Amin underscored that his party rejects violence and foreign intervention and outlined the pros and cons of the charter. He said that the NUP does not agree on the dismantling of the armed forces or of separating religion and the state.