June 29, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – A leading figure from Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has claimed that an electoral bill expected to be approved by the national assembly on Monday is flawed.
- The audience listens to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir speaking during the opening of a new session of parliament on 28 October 2013 in Khartoum (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Press reports in Khartoum on Sunday quoted MP Mohamed al-Hassan al-Amin as saying that the draft bill designed to introduce amendments to the country’s electoral law “contained several errors”.
Al-Amin noted that the law did not stipulate who would fill the position of the governor if the latter resigned, underscoring the need to introduce a new article in the law which authorises the president of the republic to appoint acting governor.
He also pointed that the draft bill contained articles relating to South Sudan although they were annulled by the constitution in addition to inconsistencies in the number of MPs which is determined at 426, saying it is not divisible and does not produce correct numbers when determining parliamentary quotas particularly the 30% which was allocated for women.
The NCP official further said that the electoral law did not take into consideration the increase in population.
The parliament on Monday is scheduled to hold a session to deliberate on the draft bill which would introduce amendments to the country’s 2008 electoral law. Major opposition parties have rejected an invitation to attend this session.
Sudan’s general elections are set to be held in April 2015 but opposition parties threatened to boycott it saying the NCP holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromises to end the civil war and allow public liberties.
In a speech before the members of the Shura (consultative) Council of the NCP on Thursday, president Omer Hassan al-Bashir underscored that next year’s elections will be held as scheduled without delay.
Many observers and opposition figures assert that NCP insistence on holding the election as planned will all but kill the national dialogue process called for by Bashir earlier this year.
ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON TIME
Meanwhile, the governor of Khartoum state and chairman of the NCP in the state, Abdel-Rahman al-Khidir, announced the formation of a committee to review the NCP election program, reiterating that elections will be held in 2015 as scheduled.
Al-Khidir, who addressed the NCP conference in East Nile locality, said they are serious about holding elections on time, underscoring that elections is the only means for achieving power.
He said the government would not allow the opposition to cross the “red line” and exploit the current atmosphere of openness to destabilise the country.
The governor urged political parties to be ready for the elections and highlighted the expansion of the NCP base in Khartoum state, saying that 70% of the party members participated in the grassroot conferences.