January 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidential assistant and deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) for party affairs, Ibrahim Ghandour, has said that his party is not ready to pick its presidential candidate two years before the general elections which is scheduled for 2015.
- Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir attends a major conference of Islamists in Khartoum on November 15, 2012. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Ghandour added in a talk show program at the state-owned Sudan National TV on Saturday that no party in the world takes the risk of choosing its nominee two years prior to elections.
Last March, Sudan’s president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir reiterated his intention to step down at the end of his term in 2015 and said the country 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.
Ghandour himself said last December that Bashir is the NCP’s sole presidential candidate in 2015.
The presidential assistant called upon rebel armed groups to listen to the voice of reason and arrive at a common ground with the government.
He also expressed dissatisfaction with the result of the Bar Association elections which was won by his party saying that their membership is by far more than those who casted their ballots.
Ghandour emphasized that NCP didn’t use public money in the Bar Association elections contrary to opposition claims, asserting transparency and fairness of elections results.
The presidential assistant acknowledged deterioration of the economic situation attributing it to several reasons including loss of oil resources due to secession of South Sudan, foreign pressures and civil wars.
He pointed that Sudan’s economy would recover through increasing production and foreign investment in minerals, oil, gas and ending wars.
Ghandour further welcomed initiative launched by the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, to achieve national consensus.
He pointed the DUP initiative calls for drafting a new constitution and amending the current elections law, saying that NCP has not yet officially received it.
The NCP official asserted that his party looks forward to conducting fair elections which produces a government that respects the opposition besides a rational opposition that doesn’t resort to foreigners.
Sudan’s opposition parties call for establishing 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.