August 19, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan al-Turabi has said that the national dialogue process is advancing at a fast pace following the approval of the roadmap for holding the dialogue conference.
- Kamal Omer Abdel Salam of the Popular Congress Party (Reuters)
The PCP which was a leading opposition party, blamed other opposition parties for their support to the overthrowing of the elected Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi last year, saying they are against any Islamic government even if it is elected by the people.
Ever since, Turabi’s party sticks to the national dialogue initiative launched by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on 27 January and is seeking to promote and mobilise support for the process. It did not object to any restrictive measures taken by the government such as detentions and confiscation and suspension of newspapers.
The National Umma Party (NUP) led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Reform Now Party (RNP) led by Ghazi Salah Al-Din suspended their participation in the national dialogue before the latter rejoined the process.
The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the rebel alliance of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) refused to join the dialogue from the outset.
On August 8, the NUP and SRF signed the “Paris Declaration” which calls for ending war and engaging in a genuine national dialogue aimed at restoring democracy in Sudan.
The PCP political secretary, Kamal Omer, told the official news agency SUNA on Tuesday that the societal dialogue is an essential part of the meetings of the national dialogue committee known as 7+7, comprised of equal numbers of government parties and opposition ones.
Last week, the Sudanese presidency launched the “societal dialogue initiative” with the participation of civil society organizations including university professors, students, youth groups, woman, Sufi orders and the traditional administration.
Omer stressed that the societal dialogue represents one of the national dialogues mechanisms, saying all sectors seek to integrate values, ideas and positions of the dialogue into the society.
“The society has to react to national issues and provide its ideas and plans to the dialogue and the dialogue must be secured through participation of all sectors”, he added
Observers expressed fears that the national dialogue process is aimed at reuniting the National Congress Party (NCP) and to assemble traditional political forces supporting the adoption of an Islamic constitution in Sudan.
Turabi diverged since 1999 with Bashir on the attributions of regional governments and the inclusion of traditional parties in a large government supporting the establishment of the Islamic state in Sudan.
The RNP split from the NCP in 2013 over calls for reforms, transparency and democratic changes.