March 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) called on Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir to hand over power to the army if he intends to step down before the resolution of the current political crisis in the country.
Bashir, who survived last year’s Arab Spring, announced in an interview released on Wednesday that he has no intention to remain in power after his term ends in 2015, saying the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is currently deliberating over a replacement presidential candidate for the next election.
In a press statement the largest opposition party said Bashir, before to leave power, should undertake some transitional arrangements including a role for the armed forces to protect the constitution and to protect the elected government.
In its statement, the opposition party referred to the role of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) after a popular uprising that caused the downfall of the Nimeiri regime in April 1985, saying the army is capable of managing a return to a democratic regime as it had been prior to the Islamist coup d’état of 1989.
“The National Congress Party, which failed to reach power through the ballot box [in 1986], should not be the heir of a regime made in the name of the army,” said NUP spokesperson Nagib Al-Khair Abdel-Wahab on Wednesday.
He further reiterated that Sudanese people attach great hopes to its armed forces and refuse to challenge its nationalism or allegiance to the people and its respect for democratic choice.
Following the announcement of the New Dawn charter inked in Kampala last January by rebel groups and opposition forces, the NUP voiced its rejection to a provision calling for the army to be dissolved, demanding a review of the agreement.
The alliance of the opposition parties agreed in June 2012 to agitate for the removal of the regime through peaceful means and reiterated their willingness to continue dialogue with rebel groups, rather than take up arms.
Reacting to Bashir’s statements this week, the spokesperson for the opposition National Conesus Forces (NCF), Kamal Omer, said the alliance remained determined to topple the regime and further called for the establishment of an interim government to ensure democratic change in Sudan.