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Sudan’s NCP seeking to form national government with opposition forces: reports

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January 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is conducting contacts with the opposition parties aiming to form a national unity government before the general elections scheduled in April next year, reported a London based daily.

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Leader of the National Umma Party al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (L) receiving the Order of the Republic from Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (R) in Khartoum on 31 December 2013 (Ashorooq TV)

"The ongoing contacts between the ruling party and the opposition is still in its early stages" confirmed a NCP official to Al-Hayat in its edition of Thursday.

The official expected that in the event that an agreement is reached such understanding would pave the way for national reconciliation with opposition forces and the rebel groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

"The recent ministerial change, which removed prominent figures hampering efforts of national reconciliation, may open the door for serious dialogue" he further said, alluding to the removal of former first vice-president Ali Osman Taha and former presidential assistant Nafei Ali Nafei.

Since the last reshuffle among the NCP minister in the national cabinet of 8 December 2013, different sources spoke about possible reconciliation between the ruling party and the other opposition parties calling for an Islamic state in Sudan like the Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan Al-Turabi or the reformists that splinted recently.

The reports which underlined the political void in Khartoum also pointed to another alternative saying Bashir might strike a political deal with the leader of the opposition National Umma Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi who demands to hold a national conference involving all the political and rebel forces.

A prominent official in the opposition PCP denied to Sudan Tribune the "existence of any secret or public contacts" with the ruling party stressing that "the opposition forces are sticking to their declared objective to bring down the regime and to form a transitional government".

However, the Islamist party is witnessing an important debate over the need to reunite with the NCP to defend the Islamic project in Sudan and to overcome the personal dimension of the conflict between its leader Turabi and other NCP leaders particularly after the removal of Ali Osman Taha.

Sudanese president Al-Bashir is preparing to launch a political reform in the country aiming to build confidence between the government and opposition parties to create a atmosphere conducive to a new phase in the country, sources close to the presidency said.

All the opposition forces demand to form a transitional government and to hold a comprehensive conference to discuss a solution for the regional conflicts in the Two Areas, and Darfur region, and also to agree on a new democratic constitution.

The ruling NCP during the past period keptrepeating that the opposition forces have to prepare themselves for the general election of 2015 to implement their programme if they win it. For the armed groups, the government said they have to sign peace accords and to participate in the vote.

(ST)

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