July 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The speaker of the Sudanese parliament al-Fatih Izz al-Din disclosed on Wednesday that he had received a written proposal from the leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi on the election law.
- Head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan al-Turabi gestures during an interview in Khartoum on 3 October 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
However he refused to unveil the contents of Turabi’s proposal or say whether it was incorporated in the draft bill that introduced amendments to the elections law which was approved by parliament on Wednesday.
The speaker defended at a news conference on Thursday his decision to eject the head of the PCP parliamentary bloc Ismail Hussein, saying he does not feel any remorse about it, adding that many people backed his move.
Izz al-Din expelled Hussein from the Tuesday session dedicated to deliberations on electoral law after heated arguments between the two over adherence to parliamentary regulations.
The PCP MP described the speaker in remarks published Thursday as someone who is “ignorant” on the legislative council’s regulations due to his lack of experience and young age. He asserted that he was thrown out of the session in a bid to exclude him from the discussions.
The speaker reiterated his disdain for opponents of his party in parliament and said he does not recognise any bloc except for the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) adding that the largest opposition bloc in parliament is not the PCP but the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
In another context, Izz al-Din said that the Sudanese president will name a new head of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in the coming hours. Following that, the NEC will begin preparations for the elections up till October when political parties will pick their candidates for parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for April 2015.
He stressed that holding the polls will not be impacted by the ongoing national dialogue process.
Izz al-Din said that the timeframe remaining for the current regime gives no room for waiting to national dialogue outcome which was previously delayed.
President Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Wednesday accepted the resignation of NEC chief Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah who attributed it to health issues.
The speaker predicted that political forces will enjoy greater representation in the next parliament.
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 last 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.