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Sudan’s DUP seeks judicial review of NEC decision to dismiss elections complaint


February 18, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The faction of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) opposed to participating in the general elections, submitted a challenge to the country’s chief justice against a decision by the Electoral Appeals Court to dismiss a complaint lodged by them earlier this month against the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) lawyers The group comprised of leading party figures had argued in their brief that the NEC erred in accepting the DUP leader’s son al-Hassan al-Mirghani as the representative of the party without an official mandate.

The asserted that the DUP’s nomination papers presented by al-Hassan to the NEC are invalid as they have not been issued by the party’s institutions.

But the NEC rejected the challenge which would have annulled the party’s participation in the elections scheduled for next April.

The DUP is in disarray following its leader’s decision to have the party contest in the elections without consulting the party’s institutions.

Last month, Sudan’s cabinet affairs minister and DUP official Ahmed Sa’ad Omer announced that the party chief Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani had given his blessing to president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s pursuit of a new term.

Other officials said that the party will participate in the legislative elections at the federal and state level.

But the move was met with stiff resistance from top party figures and many in the party’s base that has traditionally avoided questioning al-Mirghani’s decisions.

Adding to the uncertainty is al-Mirghani’s silence on the issue and his extended absence abroad amid reports that he is suffering from dementia.

DUP leading figure Ali al-Sayed told Sudan Tribune that the chief justice formed a commission to look into their appeal against the NEC decision.

He said that they demanded that the NEC furnish them with the letter in its possession submitted by al-Hassan that is attributed to the party leadership authorizing a delegate to submit election papers.

Al-Sayed described NEC’s refusal as “illogical” and projected that the judicial committee would accept their appeal stressing that they would respect its decision either way it goes.

He pointed out that should their appeal be accepted the DUP would officially be outside the elections race.

But the Islamist figure and political science professor al-Tayeb Zein al-Abdeen said in an interview published this week that the government is determined to keep the DUP in the elections at all costs.

Al-Bashir has challenged opposition parties to participate in the elections and pledged that they will be free, fair and transparent.

Major opposition parties such as the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Popular Congress Party (PCP) said they will not participate in the elections asserting that ruling party holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromise to end the country’s ongoing civil war and allow public liberties.


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