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Sudan’s former presidential assistant says he is still politically active

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March 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese former presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie said that even though he is no longer part of the government or the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) top body, he still active in the political scene.

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Sudan’s former presidential assistant and NCP Vice chairman Nafie Ali Nafie speaks during a press conference in Khartoum on December 8, 2013 (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)

"Since I left power, I have been away from direct assignments, but I am not away from politics and I am not distant either from the relationship with the executive branch and the party," Nafie told the Turkey-based Anadolu Agency in an interview.

Nafie stressed that he can never think about stopping to observe the government or the party’s performance and offering his opinion when necessary.

Last December, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir announced a cabinet reshuffle that saw the departure of several long-time NCP figures from their governmental posts including former vice-president Ali Osman Taha, presidential assistant and oil minister Awad al-Jaz as well as Nafie.

Nafie also lost his position as the NCP deputy chairman for party affairs afterwards.

The ex-official hailed Bashir’s call last January for comprehensive political dialogue saying it was received positively from influential political powers.

He said the speech left no excuse for those who kept complaining about lack of dialogue over the country’s future.

Nafie went on to say that despite differences among political forces in the country in terms of ideology and approach "there remains a very large room for cooperation on these key issues which include the moving Sudan forward".

Bashir addressed the nation announcing 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 though he did not specify practical steps to do so.

The Sudanese leader said that rebel groups will be accepted into the dialogue only if they lay down arms. But the rebel umbrella known as the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has brushed aside Bashir’s offer.

The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the Popular Congress Party (PCP) are the only opposition parties who so far announced their acceptance to Bashir’s call for national dialogue.

(ST)

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