December 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Two opposition parties calling for an Islamic state in Sudan distanced themselves from the recent cabinet reshuffle among the ministers of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), saying it does not bring major changes.
- Attabani speaks in a press conference announcing a new party called Reform Now Movement on December 3, 2013 (SUNA)
The Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan Al-Turabi and the Reform Now Movement (RNM) which recently split from the ruling party rejected on Tuesday the ministerial change which saw the departure of several long-time NCP figures from their governmental posts, including first vice-president Ali Osman Taha, presidential assistant and NCP vice chairman Nafie Ali Nafie.
Sudan’s former presidential advisor and RNM chairman Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani, minimised the impact of the changes saying that it is too early to draw conclusions on the recent cabinet reshuffle and described it as "ordinary".
He emphasised that true change involves systematic reform in policies and work methods not only changing faces of government officials, saying the only new thing in the cabinet reshuffle is that it included senior leaders.
Al-Attabani stressed that Sudan’s problem wouldn’t be resolved without reaching consensus among all political forces on national issue, saying that it is the only way to avoid anarchy and state collapse.
While the PCP went directly to demand the departure of president Omer Al-Bashir saying they reject any negotiations with the ruling NCP stressing they are committed to the understanding reached with the opposition and rebel groups aiming to bring down the regime.
In a press conference held Tuesday, PCP political secretary Kamal Omer pointed out that they give no importance to the recent changes, accusing the regime of committing serious errors tarnishing the the Islamic ideal.
Our party is working to restore the image of Islam, he further added.
Kamal further said the opposition forces were not counting on the reshuffle because it would not get the country out of the current crisis.
Like the other opposition parties, Turabi’s party says determined to topple the government of Omer Al-Bashir. But it vows to establish an Islamic regime in the country while the others speak about separation between the politics and religion.
Observers said the departure of Ali Osman Taha might open the door for a rapprochement with the PCP as the former first vice-president was seen by the Turabi’s partisans as main responsible of their ejection of the party and government institutions in 1999.
Different sources close to the Islamists leader Hassan Al-Turabi said he was particularly happy with the removal of Taha who was once the most close aide to him.
Speaking about the upcoming general elections in 2015, Al-Attabani said that his party’s participation in the upcoming elections is contingent upon the environment in which it will be conducted as well as elections laws and its fairness and impartiality.
Further, the former presidential adviser didn’t rule out the possibility of his party joining the opposition alliance . However, he scoffed at the opposition forces call for his party to apologise for being part of the regime, describing it as "substantial simplification" of Sudan’s problems.
On the other hand, Omer stressed that his party will not participate in the upcoming elections unless they are conducted under an agreed transitional regime.
The PCP political secretary further said that the opposition forces are currently better than ever. He also demanded the government to provide political and press freedoms, to allow opposition political parties to establish their activities.