Home | News    Monday 7 July 2014

Sudan’s RNP abandons national dialogue, calls for alternative project

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July 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Reform Now Party (RNP) said that the “alleged” national dialogue process has come to an end and called to establish an alternative national project. While the opposition parties will meet on Tuesday to determine a joint position over the presidential initiative.

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Sudan’s presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Atabani (Sudan TV)

In a statement issued following the meeting of its politburo on Sunday, the RNP party accused the NCP of “lack of ability to take responsibility in this historical juncture”, pointing that the ruling party “is not committed to political partnership and unwilling to meet the needed requirements of dialogue”.

The RNP, which split from the ruling party last year over need for reforms, said it will direct its efforts to establish “the alternative national project” in cooperation with all political forces.

Last May the National Umma Party (NUP) suspended participation in the dialogue process in protest against the arrest of its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi and denounced the crackdown on political and media freedoms. The RNP also suspended its participation in this political process in solidarity with the former prime minister. But the Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan al-Turabi remained opposed to the boycott of the national dialogue.

The opposition RNP on Sunday accused the government and the NCP of complicity to sabotage the dialogue initiative, saying the government aborted the dialogue through violating freedoms and public rights. Also it mentioned repeated detentions of opposition leaders, political activists, journalists, and students besides confiscation and suspension of newspapers, saying that “search of newspapers’ headquarters by the state security prosecution office constitutes a serious precedent in the history of Sudanese press”.

Sunday’s statement further pointed to the approval of the electoral law and appointment of a new chairman for the election commission without consulting with the opposition forces, saying “these moves sought to annul the dialogue’s content and agendas”.

It also mentioned statements made by president Bahsir and leaders of the NCP in which they refused to delay the elections or establish a national or transitional government to lead the country during the democratic transformation period.

Meanwhile, Bashir is set to meet on Thursday with members of the national dialogue mechanism known as the 7 +7 consisting of seven from opposition parties and seven from the government side.

The government parties in the national dialogue mechanism will meet on Monday night in the presence of the presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour in order to find ways for pushing forward the dialogue process.

PERSISTENT DIVERGENCE AMONG OPPOSITION PARTIES

On the other hand, the opposition parties that accepted the presidential initiative of national dialogue will hold a meeting on Tuesday to determine a joint position from the political process before Thursday’s meeting.

It is now obvious that within the seven political parties willing to the national dialogue, the NUP and RNP have reservations on the political process as they question ability of the current mechanism to achieve the desired rapprochement among political forces.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that strong divergences have appeared among opposition forces of the national dialogue in a consultation meeting that took place in the premises of the Just Peace Forum party.

According to the sources that spoke under the cover of anonymity, the PCP and some other parties stick to the national dialogue process, saying that all the reservations expressed by the Umma and RNP including political and press freedoms can be discussed within the mechanism of 7+7.

Following the release of its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, the NUP stressed on the need to review the national dialogue and to make it more inclusive.

The largest opposition party said the dialogue should include all the political parties and rebel groups, to link it to the peace process and to ensure a conducive environment through the release of political detainees and removal of restrictions on political freedoms.

(ST)

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