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Sudan’s opposition rejects presidential decree on regulation of political activities

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April 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) has said that the recent presidential decree on regulation of activities of political organisations poses restrictions on political parties and represents a throwback on promises to allow freedoms.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir issued a decree on Monday guaranteeing political parties the freedom to carry out public activities as long as they obtain prior authorisation.

The presidential decree requires political parties to to obtain permission to conduct activities in public, but it allows them to hold public meetings, rallies and seminars within their premises or headquarters without prior approval.

The NCF chairman, Farouq Abu Issa, told reporters on Tuesday that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) doesn’t have the right to regulate activities of political parties, noting that Bashir is the chairman of ruling party and has vested interest in curbing activities of other political parties.

He said that the NCF formed a legal committee to study the decree and issue a statement to the public opinion clarifying its dimensions.

Meanwhile the spokesperson of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Youssef Hussein, reiterated his party’s call for annulling all laws restricting freedoms, saying it is the key for resolving the country’s crises.

Hussein said the decree imposes restrictions on the activities of the political parties and demands them to obtain approval of the security authorities, underscoring the need to allow political freedoms.

He pointed to the existence of conflicting views within the government.

The decree is thought to be part of a number of measures the president Omer Al-Bashir vowed to implement in order to guarantee freedom of expression and activities for the opposition parties before to engage in a national dialogue to end regional conflicts and adopt a new constitution.

Two opposition parties, the People’s Congress Party (PCP) and the National Umma Party (NUP) have expressed support for the process, but insists on the need to ensure freedoms .

However, the opposition alliance which is supposed to gather all the opposition forces, still refuses to take part in the national dialogue before to release freedoms, and the formation of new national government.

(ST)

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