October 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Several prominent Islamist figures have announced on Tuesday the establishment of a new political party under the name of the National Movement for Change (NMC).
- Sudanese and Egyptian Islamists shout slogans against the ousting of Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi during a rally after midday prayers, as they march from King Farouq Mosque to the Egyptian embassy in central Khartoum July 8, 2013 (REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The founders of the new party include al-Tayeb Zain el-Abdeen, al-Tijani Abdel-Qadir, Mohamed Mahjoub Haroun, Ahmed Kamal al-Deen and Huwaida Salah al-Deen al-Attabani.
All of the signatories were once members of the Sudanese Islamic Movement (IM), and its political arm the National Islamic Front (NIF) which orchestrated the 1989 military coup d’état that overthrew the democratically elected government led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi who is head of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP).
They majority of them were also ex-members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) which inherited the legacy of NIF.
The founding statement of the NMC pointed that the party would adopt the motto “Let us be part of the solution”, mentioning that Sudan like other third world countries went through different phases in its history including advance and retreat, strength and weakness.
It added that Sudan is currently going through the weakest phase of its history, pointing to the sharp discord among the political elites, civil war, economic crisis, secession of South Sudan, deterioration of educational institutions and foreign relations.
The statement mentioned that Sudan is isolated and its name is on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and its president Omer Hassan al-Bashir is accused of committing war crimes which makes him “persona non grata” in most of the countries, adding that ordinary citizens pay the price for the government failures.
It went on to say all Sudanese people must face this grim reality by asking the difficult questions and answering them with honesty, pointing that those query should revolve around the lessons learned from the bitter experiences of the partisan divide, military coup d’états, as well as the political and economic adventures.
The statement called for reviewing the reasons and objectives that made the Sudanese people engage in protracted civil wars in South Sudan, Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan leading to the death and displacement of millions of innocent citizens.
It further said that questions should tackle the severe economic crisis which led to an unprecedented social disintegration and added that Sudanese citizens have either become refugees and migrants or unemployed and seeking immigration, mentioning that small minority of people have tightened its grip on power and wealth.
This group of people, according to the statement, has a narrow political vision and poor professional competence as well as weak moral commitment which makes it unable to bring about development or good management or spread justice and freedom among people.
The founding statement also called for reconsidering the overall situation of the country and developing new political and economic principles and drafting a new constitution, saying that the current regime is collapsing and building the future should begin immediately.
The NMC founders pointed that political elites must meet the aspirations of the ordinary citizens including job opportunities, education, housing, and health care, saying that they are calling for new political horizons and new approach for political performance based on confronting realities and true engagement with the public.
The statement said that Sudan suffers from a severe social problem which goes back to the colonial era and was reflected in unbalanced economic development policies, pointing that national governments failed to reverse the situation which led to continuous massive migration from rural to urban areas and out of the country.
It added that there was no wise political leadership to remedy the disintegration of the socio-economic system in the countryside through an industrial revolution which provides a new production base, and a broad educational base which offers knowledge and skills.
Earlier this week a group of NCP reformists led by the former adviser to president Bashir and the NCP’s ex-majority leader in parliament, Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani, declared their intention to leave the party and form a new one that would "bring new hope to Sudan".
The first split within the NCP took place in 1999 following a bitter power struggle between Bashir and Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi, with the latter subsequently ousted from his post as parliament speaker.
Al-Turabi later established the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and has since been a vociferous critic of the very regime for which he orchestrated the army-backed seizure of power in 1989.
The NCP has been facing growing difficulties particularly as its coffers dried up after the oil-rich south became an independent nation in July 2011.