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Sudan’s NUP leader al-Mahdi refuses to step down from party presidency

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February 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, has affirmed that he would continue assuming his role as a chairman of the party pointing to his continuous achievements in the political arena.

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Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, head of the Umma Party, the country’s largest opposition party (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Al-Mahdi accused those who call for his resignation of personifying issues, describing them as “malevolent” and “corrupt”, saying he suggested to president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, that all parties’ leaders should leave their posts following approval of a new national constitution.

The pro-government al-Rayaam daily newspaper on Sunday quoted Al-Mahdi as saying that his party continues to achieve one success after another to the extent that its ideas dominated the political arena.

“That means we are moving in the right direction, so why do you think I should abandon my achievements?” he added.

He mentioned that some political leaders have committed high treason and should therefore be held accountable while some others have become ineffective, wondering why effective and non-mistaken leaders are asked to retire.

The NUP leader further said he is not clinging to his post and he is able to accomplish many tasks away from it.

“I am not idle and if I left my position in the NUP, I would perform other tasks”, he added

He stressed that he enjoys wide support even outside of his party, saying he is currently occupied with several national issues including ending civil wars, drafting the new constitution besides establishing a national democratic regime in the country.

Al-Mahdi said that he doesn’t mind that NUP’s constitution sets specific tenure for the party chairman linking the move to the approval of Sudan’s new constitution.

He disclosed that he made a suggestion to Bashir that all leaders should step down following approval of the new constitution, saying NUP could change its chairman in the upcoming 8th convention which will be held next year.

The veteran leader pointed that internal party committees are currently working on addressing differences on the powers of the NUP politburo and its relation with the secretary general.

He fiercely attacked the leader of the dissolved NUP’s renewal and reform faction, Mubarak Al-Mahdi, holding him responsible for corruption and problems within the party.

“Mubarak Al-Mahdi walked into a completely failed political track so how could he adopt reform?” a;-Mahdi said

The NUP is one of Sudan’s oldest political parties dating back to the 19th century. The party has its roots in the Mahdist Sufi order of the Ansar sect of Islam. It was founded in 1945.

Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi assumed his position as party leader since 1960’s until today.

(ST)

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