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Sudanese opposition suspends Turabi’s party over participation in national dialogue

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April 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF) decided to freeze the membership of Hassan Al-Turabi party because they accepted to take part in the national dialogue process.

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From left to right: Leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan Al-Turabi, Reform Now Party (RNP) head Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani, National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi and second vice-president Hassabo Abdel-Rahman attend a speech by the president announcing a national dialogue initiative on 27 January 2014 (SUNA)

The NCF which gathers the Communist party and other small political forces said they suspend the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and another small formation called Justice Party, for their participation in the political process launched by president Omer Al-Bashir last January.

The decision to freeze the membership of the two parties was taken by the NCF in a meeting held on Wednesday "because the PCP breached the common position of the coalition on the issue of dialogue", NCF spokesperson Sideeq Youssef told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

"How we can say that we are allies and stand in one platform while at the same time express sharply divergent views," he stressed.

The opposition official reiterated the NCF firm rejection of dialogue with the regime unless the ruling party fulfils a number of conditions, including measures to ensure freedom of expression, formation of a national unity government, and the signing of a cessation of hostilities with the rebels.

The National Umma Party (NUP), which also participates in the dialogue, suspended its membership in the NCF in October last year over disagreement with the alliance on the stance towards the regime.

The two major opposition forces, NUP and PCP, say they accepted the dialogue, but nevertheless they intend to bring the ruling National Congress Party to implement their demands before to effectively engage in the process.

PCP political secretary, Kamal Omer, expressed to Sudan Tribune their regret for this decision adding they will call for a meeting at the leadership level to discuss this development.

Omer further said they stick to the membership of the opposition alliance, terming the decision as "unfounded".

He however disclosed they have initiated a series of contacts to mull over a new large alliance for democracy and freedom in the country.

The opposition Congress Party spokesperson, Abu Bakr Youssef, stated the NCF can review their its decision, if the Popular Congress Party reconsiders its participation in the national dialogue.

The opposition coalition was founded in 2009 before the general elections by the SPLM which is now the ruling party of the independent South Sudan, UNP, PCP, Communist Party, Congress Party, Baath Party and other political formations.

(ST)

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