April 28, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s second vice-president, Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, has said that consultations are underway with political parties to develop a mechanism for comprehensive national dialogue.
- 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 dialogue mechanism would include seven members from the government side and an equal number from the opposition.
While the “broad-based” government parties delegated president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to name their members in the dialogue mechanism, there are reports that opposition parties are facing difficulties in determining their representatives.
The opposition parties refuse to have Bashir chair the dialogue mechanism and are instead calling for the appointment of a neutral and independent figure.
Abdel-Rahman, who addressed a public rally at Ali’lega area in the locality of Guli in the White Nile state on Monday, reiterated the government’s determination to hold national dialogue on the four issues mentioned in the president’s initiative.
He said that dialogue is the most effective mean for strengthening the national front and pointed that all components of the civil society and the Sudanese people at large should take part in it, stressing that dialogue must not be confined to political elites.
“We want to go ahead with the dialogue in order to achieve several objectives including consolidating national principles, allowing peaceful transformation of power, holding elections, drafting new constitution and stop seeking support of foreigners,” he added.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties which are not part of the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) will hold a consultative meeting on Wednesday to discuss its participation in national dialogue and its administrative mechanisms.
The National Umma Party (NUP), Popular Congress Party (PCP), Reform Now Party (RNP), Just Peace Forum (JPF) and the Truth and Communication Party (TCP) said in a statement on Monday that opposition parties have not yet developed a joint forum to discuss ways for administering the dialogue and selection process for opposition representatives.
The statement extends an open invitation to all opposition parties wishing to attend the consultative meeting, saying that each party will be represented by three members.
Last January, Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalising national identity.
Earlier this month, he held a political roundtable in Khartoum with the participation of 83 political parties.
The NCF boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government had failed to responds to its demands for the creation of an environment conducive to dialogue.