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Sudan’s DUP awaits Al-Mirghani’s decision on partnership with NCP

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October 3, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) base is awaiting a decision by its leader Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani on the future of their partnership with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) which allowed the former to join the government in late 2011 and obtain 12% of government posts.

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FILE PHOTO - President Al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with DUP leader Mohammed Osman Al-Mirghani

Al-Mirghani has established a committee to look into whether or not the DUP should continue in the NCP-dominated cabinet. The panel unanimously recommended on Wednesday that the party withdraws from the government.

The decision is not binding however, and the DUP chief can overrule it. Party officials gave contradictory statements on whether a pullout is likely.

All DUP ministers attended the weekly cabinet meeting today and a party official by the name of Mirghani Musa’id told pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) said that the DUP is still part of the government and denied that a decision was made on withdrawal.

A knowledgeable source within the party disclosed that even the ministers in the cabinet attended the panel meeting and listened to a report from the economic committee on the negative impact of the government decision last month to cut fuel subsidies which was implemented despite DUP objections.

The report was an "eye opener" for all those in attendance on the bleak economic prospect, the source said and coupled with the government crackdown on anti-fuel hike protests made it impossible to continue their partnership with the NCP.

The increase in fuel prices led to some of the most deadly protests Sudan has seen in years that killed 34 according to government figures and more than 100, according to activists numbers.

The source warned that al-Mirghani may resist withdrawal due to "special interest" lobbies in the DUP and pressure from senior NCP officials.

"Al-Mirghani’s position now is not enviable, and it was not wise to put in such a position .. The ball is now in his court to take an historic decision," the source said.

The DUP leading figure, Mathaba Haj Hassan was quoted by the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) as saying that the party is institutionalised and no individual or entity can decide for it but can only recommend.

The decision to join the government was opposed by a large number of DUP officials including senior party members.

(ST)

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