May 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday accused the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and the Baath Party of trying to block the national dialogue process called for by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir earlier this year.
- 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)
“We will not link dialogue to the opinion of one or two parties after affirming that they do not want to join it,” NCP’s political secretary, Mustafa Osman Ismail, told the pro-government Ashorooq TV.
Ismail said that these parties are turning their conditions to participate in the dialogue into a blackmail aimed at disrupting it from the viewpoint that they have no interest in seeing it succeed.
He noted that the NCP responded positively to the logical prerequisites set by these parties such as allowing political and press freedoms, releasing political detainees and providing the required guarantees for the rebels to participate in the dialogue .
The NCP official also criticized demands that the government announce a ceasefire stressing that this cannot be a unilateral step. He nonetheless expressed the government’s readiness to enter into a truce and negotiations with the rebels.
He also expressed skepticism over the SCP claim that it is being subjected to pressure from political parties, organizations and foreign embassies to engage in the national dialogue without creating a conducive environment.
The SCP said it will not succumb to such pressures which aims to maintain the regime in power and preserve the interests of those linked to it.
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.
He held a political roundtable in Khartoum last month with the participation of 83 political parties. The National Umma Party (NUP) and the Popular Congress Party (PCP) are the only major opposition parties to accept Bashir’s call for national dialogue so far.
The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions.
The NCF wants the NCP-dominated government to declare a comprehensive one-month ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. In addition it has called for the issuing of a general amnesty, allowing public freedoms and the release of all political detainees.
Bashir instructed authorities in the states and localities across Sudan to enable political parties to carry out their activities inside and outside their headquarters without restrictions except those dictated by the law.
The Sudanese president also pledged to enhance press freedom so that it can play its role in the success of the national dialogue unconditionally as long they abide by the norms of the profession.
Political detainees who have not been found to be involved in criminal acts will be released, Bashir said.