September 1, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan announced today that ongoing consultations on a the formation of a new cabinet will include opposition parties but signaled that it has no intention of heeding to demands for the formation of a transitional government that would prepare for general elections and oversee the drafting of a constitution.
Mohamed al-Hassan al-Amin, a leading NCP figure and a key lawmaker, said that the ruling party is keen on forming an "agreeable" cabinet that would appeal even to opposition parties.
Al-Amin said that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir is already deliberating with other parties on national and strategic issues and possibility on joining the government.
Currently only the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani, has moved from opposition ranks to join the cabinet that underwent its last major change in late 2011.
DUP is expected to continue its partnership with the NCP and is reportedly negotiating its share in the upcoming cabinet.
Bashir met with leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi at his residence this week but the latter vehemently rejected any plans to participate in the government without an overhaul of the entire political system.
The NCP spokesperson Yasser Youssef for his part called on the opposition to work with his party on the formation of a national political platform that would at a minimum agree on working from inside the country, renounce violence and not to cooperate with foreign powers.
Youssef pointed out that the issue of the constitution is a national one that could form the basis for a broad political consensus and beginning of in-depth dialogue on how to resolve crises in the country.
In response to opposition demands for an interim government, the NCP official said that any dialogue should not start with the imposition of conditions adding that all items are up for discussions in a roundtable.
"They have to respond first to this call for dialogue and after sitting under one roof then we can look at the agenda that we can talk about ," Youssef told reporters.
He noted that the current institutions were formed through "fair and free elections" that produced the broad-based government in place which he said includes heavyweight parties.