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Mahdi reiterates demands for requirements of national dialogue

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August 1, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the National Umma Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi, has reiterated his criticism of the government of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, blaming it for not meeting the requirements for national dialogue.

The opposition leader was very supportive to the dialogue process proposed by the Sudanese president in January 20114. But, the NUP suspended its participation in May after Mahdi’s arrest over criticism of government militia.

Last July, he demanded the government to adopt a law to guarantee public freedoms and to include rebel groups in the process, stressing that his party would only resume its participation after this condition.

Speaking at meeting of NUP members abroad sector on Friday, al-Mahdi reminded that his distanced itself from the military action since 2000 when they decided to quit the armed opposition umbrella, National Democratic Alliance, which had been based in Eritrea.

The former prime minister emphasised that the “desired political solution requires many factors, most importantly the public freedoms and a law defining the goals, means and procedures for national governance and peace”. He also said that this law should be agreed by a national council for peace.

He said the DUP is very responsive for dialogue due to the conditions the Sudan is facing in order to achieve peace and democratic transformation. But he added that “he feels betrayed” because the government didn’t create the requirements of dialogue.

Al-Mahdi on 16 July, proposed to associate only the “six historical political parties” in the national dialogue. He further said these political forces should be included in the African Union-led peace process with the rebel groups.

The former prime minister is expected to meet the rebels, in a bid to reach a common platform with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

The ruling NCP said talks to finalise a framework agreement with the opposition parties will resume during the upcoming days, as the opposition Popular Congress Party and the Reform Now Movement demand to postpone the general elections and to form a national unity government.

(ST)

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