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SCoP rejects Bashir’s call to join Sudan’s constitutional process

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July 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Saturday said it would oppose the adoption of a new constitution, stressing that the priority should be given to ensure freedoms and to reach a just negotiated settlement with the armed groups.

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SCoP leader Omer al-Digair (ST Photo)

The move comes following a recent call by President Omer al-Bashir for the opposition groups to participate in the drafting process of a new constitution before its approval by the Parliament. He said it would mark the beginning of a new phase of national dialogue.

"To express the general will, the constitution must be produced by a collective national mind formed through free and equal dialogue, but this is not currently available," said SCoP chairman Omer al-Digair in a press statement released on Saturday.

"The (government led) dialogue is not qualified to make up a collective national mind, because it was designed by the(ruling) National Congress Party, which controlled the drafting of its outputs in different ways, as it was mentioned by some participants," he said adding that it was not a comprehensive dialogue, because it didn’t include all the political and social forces.

The opposition leader was referring to the boycott of the internal dialogue process by several opposition parties and armed groups.

Al-Digair said the problem is not in the lack of a constitution, but in the absence of respect for its provisions.

"The current Sudanese constitution of 2005 contains provisions that guarantee freedoms, respect for human rights, preserve human dignity and call for the rule of law, but practice proves that the Alengaz (Salvation) Regime does not respect the constitution," he emphasised.

To illustrate his remarks, he mentioned that the regime persists in its rejection to repealing laws that restrict freedoms, despite their violation of the constitution.

He went further to say the current Sudanese parliament does not represent the general will because the electoral process didn’t meet the minimum conditions required for any free and fair elections. In addition, it was joined by new members appointed on basis of the government-led dialogue which was not inclusive, he said.

On Friday, SPLMN-Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol criticised al-Bashir’s call for the opposition to join the constitutional process saying it aims primarily to buying time and diverting public attention.

He further said the regime seeks to forge the 2020 elections and give al-Bashir another term in office.

The government, the holdout armed groups and the National Umma Party (NUP) in August 2016 signed the African Union brokered the Roadmap Agreement, a framework for a political process to end the war and achieve democratic reforms.

However, after their failure to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities agreement, the government endorsed the outcome of an internal dialogue process and called it the ’National Document’. Now It calls the opposition groups to join them in its implementation, while the opposition sticks to the need to implement the Roadmap which Khartoum declines.

(ST)

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