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Lawmakers must pass constitutional reforms to incorporate dialogue outcome: Al-Bashir

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September 28, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Wednesday said the implementation of the national dialogue outcome would require the parliament to approve limited legal and constitutional amendments during its coming session.

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Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir listen to the National anthem during opening session of Sudan National Dialogue conference October 10, 2015 (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Following his meeting with the speaker of the National Assembly Ibrahim Ahmed Omer on Wednesday, al-Bashir urged legislators to get ready to incorporate the outcome of the dialogue into the constitution and the laws, saying the nation will witness intensive and important political work during the coming period.

He pointed out that incorporation of the dialogue’s recommendations would require making limited constitutional amendments, saying those amendments will be introduced to the parliament in its coming session.

Last year, Sudanese lawmakers approved three controversial constitutional amendments introduced by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) amid the protests of opposition MPs who did not take part in the vote.

The first bill allowed the president to appoint governors who will no longer be elected through universal suffrage. The second transformed the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) into regular force to legitimise the creation of its militia the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Finally the third reform was the inclusion of Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in the constitution.

Al-Bashir further stressed the need to endorse the outcome of the national dialogue by consensus during the dialogue conference in order to develop the national document which would constitute the basis to draft a permanent constitution for the nation.

In January 2014, al-Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalising national identity.

Launched on 10 October 2015 for three months, the dialogue process was initially expected to wind up in January 2016 but it was delayed until October 10th.

The opposition groups refuse to join the process and call on the government to implement a number of confidence building measures aimed to create a suitable atmosphere for dialogue. But the government refuses their claims.

(ST)

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