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Divergence over PM & transitional parliament persists ahead of dialogue conference

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October 3, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The national dialogue committees still disagrees on the new constitutional reforms including the post of prime minister and the increase of parliament seats, a week before the final session of the National Dialogue Conference.

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Members of the national dialogue general assembly and President Omer al-Bashir attend the third session of the internal process in Khartoum on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

The dialogue conference which will take place in Khartoum next Monday is expected to endorse a national document , comprising the principles of a new permanent constitution in Sudan.

Also, meeting will approve constitutional reform to be adopted par le parliament before the formation of the interim government which is expected to be established within 90 days.

’’There is a consensus (among the dialogue forces) on the adoption of presidential system and the creation of the post of a prime minister appointed by the president. The premier has to form a government in consultation with the president," said Tadjadine Bechir Niam a member of the consensus committee tasked to reach compromises on contentious issues.

He further told Sudan Tribune that the disagreement over the post of prime minister is focused on whether he will be approved and held accountable by the parliament or the president.

Niam added that the governing parties support the appointment and approval of the prime minister by the president of the republic to fit with the presidential system.

Also, an official in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) confirmed what Niam said, adding that the opposition groups participating the internal dialogue process want the prime minister to be approved by the chamber and be responsible before the MPs.

The source further said the national dialogue forces diverge also on term of the transitional government chaired by President Omer al-Bashir.

Niam said the recommendations of the dialogue conference would provide that the premier will be appointed after political consultations, pointing that the post would not be reserved for the opposition or a specific group.

Regarding the composition of the transitional parliament, Niam who is representing the Liberation and Justice Movement led Bahr Idris Abu Garda said it was agreed to increase the seats and expand the national assembly in order to represent all the political forces participating in the political process.

He expressed optimism to reach an agreement over the 13 pending issues before the General Assembly on 10 October, adding that the 7+7 committee will hold its last meeting on Wednesday 5 October . Also, he disclosed that a meeting headed by President al-Bashir will take place on Sunday to reach consensual compromises.

"On the 10th of October, the political forces participating in the dialogue conference will sign the final document and hand it over to the President," he stressed.

After what the government will introduce into the parliament the constitutional reform related to the creation of the post of prime minister and the increase of parliamentary seats.

"A National Consensus Government will be formed within 90 days, considering that the adoption of constitutional amendments may require 60 days at the worst," Niam added.

HOLDOUT GROUPS SLAMMED

In a press conference held on Monday, Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, slammed the position of opposition groups of the Sudan Call alliance saying they "confirmed their unwillingness to take part in the dialogue and they do not want a solution to the issues of Sudan".

The opposition groups held a workshop in Addis Ababa to prepare a joint position for a preparatory meeting supposed to place after the signing of agreements on the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access in the Two Areas and Darfur.

The opposition groups said they would not accept to join the dialogue conference if the government did not fulfill the requested confidence building measures and threatened to hold their own dialogue meeting without the ruling NCP and to include the opposition Future Forces for Change (FFC) .

"This position is intended to evade the African Union Roadmap Agreement," said Hamid.

The presidential aide further said the FFC and prominent figures of the National Umma Party including Mubarak al-Mahdi will participate in the national dialogue meeting next Monday.

(ST)

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