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Sudan welcomes Agar call for opposition to consider participation in 2020 elections

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December 3, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has welcomed the call of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North led by Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) for the opposition to consider participation in 2020 election.

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Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar (Reuters)

In a letter recently sent to the opposition groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), Sudan Call, National Consensus Forces (NSC) and the Broad National Front (BNF) Agar called to reach a joint political agenda for change linking the upcoming elections to a just peace and democratic transition in the country.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Sunday has quoted the government spokesperson Ahmed Belal Osman as saying any call to abandon the opposition’s stance to change the regime by force is considered an advanced move.

He welcomed Agar’s call for the opposition to participate in the upcoming elections, stressing the circulation of power by elections is a legitimate right.

However, Osman said Agar has yet to join the peace process and transform his movement into a political party, pointing out that the SPLM-N still embraces the war agenda.

He said they would welcome Agar call as soon as he signs a peace agreement with the government.

Meanwhile, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has described Agar call as a real shift in the positions of the armed opposition regarding the peaceful transformation of power.

The deputy chairman of the NCP political sector Abdallah Safi al-Nour underscored their support for the transfer of power through the ballot boxes, saying the opposition should link words to deeds.

For his part, NCP political secretary Obied Allah Mohamed said “if Agar is serious about his call, he must join the peace process and the national dialogue”, stressing the 2020 elections would be transparent and fair leading to a real democratic transformation involving all components of the Sudanese society.

The Sudanese opposition forces used to boycott the electoral process in the country since the 1989 coup d’état, denouncing the lack of peace, and democratic environment. The rejection of electoral process allowed the regime to divide the opposition and attract some forces to join it.

While the political process brokered by the African Union is deadlocked, they country witnesses growing calls by various political and civil society groups to amend the constitution to re-elect the ICC-wanted president for a third term in the 2020 elections.

Several opposition groups such as the NSC and the BNF reject any negotiated solution with the ruling NCP and insist on the need to eradicate the regime of President al-Bashir through the popular uprising.

However, other political forces as the National Umma Party of Sadiq al-Mahdi join Agar’s implicit call to participate in the elections saying it would create a new dynamic enabling the political forces to mobilise the street and challenge the regime.

BNF REJECTS AGAR CALL

Meanwhile, the BNF leader Ali Mahmoud Hassanein has regretted Agar call for the opposition to consider participation in the upcoming elections describing it as “lost bet”.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Sunday, Hassanein warned against any calls to participate in the regimes’ schemes, stressing the Sudanese people are capable of overthrowing it before 2020.

He called on the active forces of the Sudanese people not to listen to the voices of the “the losers who promote the participation in elections promoted by this regime”.

Hassanein further said the call to participate in the upcoming elections is based upon “false illusion”, saying “the regime wouldn’t suddenly transform from a demon which falsifies the popular will to a democratic regime which accepts the transfer of power through elections”.

He pointed out that the participation of the opposition in any elections constitutes “recognition of the legitimacy of the regime” which the opposition continues to reject.

(ST)

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