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Sudan’s NCP dismisses talk about postponing 2015 elections

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February 7, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan downplayed suggestions about postponing the upcoming 2015 elections saying it is something proposed by smaller parties that have never made it to government ranks before.

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Amin Hassan Omer (Photo SUNA)

Amin Hassan Omer, a leading NCP figure, stressed that his party did not want to have monopoly over power and that national goals cannot be achieved without national consensus.

"The consensus advocated by the [NCP] is not to achieve reconciliation but is a firm conviction of the party," he told a Friday radio show.

Omer went on to say that political forces promoting the idea of pushing back the elections want to press for a transitional government so that they can rule without a mandate from the people even though they have never experienced governing.

This contradicts remarks made last month by the head of NCP organisational sector, Hamid Sideeq who said said that the ruling party does not object the postponement of elections if the National Election Commission (NEC) decides to.

Omer went on to discuss president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s address to the nation this month regarding a reform document drafted by the ruling party which drew intense criticism because it avoided making specific proposals.

Bashir, announced a 4-point plan for reform "to stop the war and bring peace, free political society, fight against poverty and revitalize national identity", calling for political forces to engage in dialogue to agree on the implementation items.

The NCP later said the lack of specificity was to give room for opposition parties to give their input.

Omer argued that he sat down to a large number of foreign diplomats in Khartoum who unanimously agreed that Bashir’s speech was very important and addressed core issues including peace, freedoms, economic life and developing it, culture and human aspirations.

He revealed that the actual reform document consists of two chapters with the first on party reform, its relations with others and with the political life in general. The second chapter deals with overall political reform in Sudan.

He pointed out that a many people thought that the reform document represents an official recognition by the NCP that it violated the rights of Sudanese people which he described as a "political trading".

Omer emphasized that the NCP has no intention to incriminate itself else it would be expected to issue an apology then face penalty.

He disclosed that the NCP general convention scheduled for next October will pick its presidential candidate.

Despite Bashir’s assertions that he will not run again several NCP officials insist that he is the sole candidate for the presidential elections.

(ST)

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