September 3, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has introduced a new form of punishment for its members including memorizing and reciting the Quran.
- Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani (Reuters)
The new measures comes in response to accusations directed at NCP members and government officials of financial corruption, abuse of power and more recently of involvement in Darfur tribal conflicts as alleged by East Darfur governor Abdel-Hamid Musa Kasha.
The NCP’s head of the organizational secretariat, Hamid Sideeg, said in press statements on Tuesday, that there must be a clear definition of who is a “maverick”, pointing that not all reformist voices are considered one.
He added that if it is proven that the party member was involved in corruption; he will be reprimanded and subjected to a spiritual punishment in the form of memorizing and reciting the Quran.
Sideeg said that the NCP neither intends to summon Kasha nor the former presidential advisor and head of NCP parliamentary caucus Ghazi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani who is considered one of the leading reformist figures in the ruling party.
He pointed to the different levels of accountability within the NCP, saying that all punishments which do not involve suspension and dismissal are decided at the state level but dismissal from the party must be approved by the leadership bureau.
The NCP official ruled out speculations that al-Attabani is leading a new split within the party, saying that he is a member of the leadership bureau and has the right to openly express his views.
He also downplayed reform efforts of al-Attabani, saying “we are all reformists” and stressed that the NCP is attracting large numbers of new members, saying that their numbers are multiplying by a geometrical progression.
Last April, the NCP sacked al-Attabani from his position as the head of its bloc in parliament. Al-Attabani then continued to criticize the lawmakers, saying that they don’t meet the aspirations of the people.