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NCP presidential candidate for 2015 elections still undecided: official

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December 29, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said that it has not yet determined its presidential candidate for the upcoming 2015 elections.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir speaks during the second Economic Forum in Khartoum on November 23, 2013 (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)

The NCP deputy secretary of information, Qubais Ahmed al-Mustafa, said in press statements on Sunday stressed that nomination is the responsibility of the NCP’s General Convention.

He further said that his party will nominate the candidate who would be agreed upon by the party members.

Al-Mustafa urged the opposition to participate in the upcoming elections and accused it of questioning transparency of the elections in order to avoid it, adding that his party is willing to allow international monitoring for the polls.

On Saturday, the NCP deputy chairman and official spokesperson, Ibrahim Ghandour, said that president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, is the NCP’s sole presidential candidate in 2015.

Last March, Bashir reiterated his intention to step down at the end of his term in 2015 and said that Sudan is in need of “fresh blood”. But later he hinted that he could run again for president, saying that his re-election will be determined by the NCP’s General Convention and the Shura Council.

Bashir on Thursday pledged that elections will be held as scheduled and "will not be delayed even for one hour".

He said the ruling party would elect a new chairman soon adding this elected leader will be the NCP candidate for the presidential election.

Sudan’s opposition parties call for forming a transitional government and holding a national conference with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution for the conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.

The interim government would organize general elections once a political agreement on constitutional matters is reached, inaugurating a new democratic regime. But the NCP rejects this proposal saying opposition parties must simply prepare for the 2015 elections and that rebels should sign first peace accords.

In a separate issue, Bashir said that the era of empowerment and politicization of civil service in Sudan has ended, announcing that the NCP is currently developing a comprehensive reform program and topping that list is civil service reform.

He pledged on Sunday to guarantee independence and impartiality of the civil service, saying that selection criterion for civil service positions would be based on free competition and professional competence only.

“Promotion would only be based on competence. The era of politicization and empowerment has gone”, he said

Bashir further added that civil servants wouldn’t be dismissed from work on the basis of their political affiliation, stressing that all people are equal.

He asserted that the country’s leadership is currently preoccupied with developing the right foundation for the civil service to ensure its independence.

Last week, the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) accused the Sudanese regime of being responsible for the destruction of the civil service.

It stressed that the NCP’s empowerment policies have destroyed the civil service and led to serious effects on the society, describing it as a major national and moral crime.

It also affirmed that civil service would only be reformed if the NCP pulled out its affiliates who gained their posts through the infamous “public interest” policy which targeted civil servants who aren’t loyal to the ruling party.

(ST)

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