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Sudan’s dialogue follow up body approves constitutional amendments

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December 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Sunday said the Higher Coordination Committee to Follow Up on the Implementation of the Dialogue Outcome has approved the constitutional amendments.

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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)

On October 25th, Sudanese presidency deposited new amendments to the 2005 transitional constitution with the parliament, which allow to introduce a Prime Minister post, increase the number of national MPs and adopt the name of the Government of National Concord.

NCP deputy chairman and presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid on Sunday said the endorsement of the new amendments by the committee is considered a first step toward the implementation of the National Document.

For his part, member of the committee and chairman of the Federal Truth Party (FTP) Fadl al-Sid Shuaib said the powers of the Prime Minister include the approval of the policies and initiation of the budget.

He demanded that the Prime Minister should be given the full power to appoint the government and present it to the president for final approval contrary to what has been stated on the amendments endorsed by the committee.

Shuaib denied that the new amendments have concentrated power in the president’s hands, saying the latter’s powers are already provided for in the 2005 constitution.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Liberation and Justice Party (LJP) party, Bahar Idris Abu Garda, has announced his party’s preliminary approval of the amendments, saying it is an urgent issue.

Also, the chairman of the deputy parliament speaker and head of the emergency committee for constitutional amendments Badria Sulieman said the studied all amendments recommended by the dialogue committees, stressing the need to amend the provision pertaining to temporary decrees to enable participation of the new MPs.

Since January 2014, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has been leading a national dialogue process whose stated aims are to resolve the armed conflicts, achieve political freedoms, alleviate poverty and the economic crisis, and address the national identity crisis.

Last October, the political forces participating at the national dialogue concluded the process by signing the National Document which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalized by transitional institutions.

The opposition groups boycotted the process because the government didn’t agree on humanitarian truce with the armed groups and due to its refusal to implement a number of confidence building measures.

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