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Sudan’s PCP repudiates support of al-Bashir re-election

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December 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Popular Congress Party (PCP) in the Northern State Sunday has disavowed a document alluding to the support of the political parties participating in the government to President Omer al-Bashir’s reelection in 2020.

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President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP photo)

Al-Bashir’s term ends in 2020 and he couldn’t run for office again according to the constitution.

However, some voices within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and its partners in the Government of National Consensus have recently called for amending the constitution to allow him to run for the presidency again.

On Sunday, al-Bashir arrived in the capital of the Northern State, Dongola to inaugurate a number of services and development projects.

The official news agency SUNA said the “crowd gathered to receive the President in Dongola county announced its support and nomination of al-Bashir for a new term in 2020”.

However, the PCP in the Northern State said some political parties participating in the National Dialogue have held a meeting and agreed to draft a document to support al-Bashir.

“The document was presented to us and we rejected it because it contains phrases that points, even indirectly, to supporting the re-nomination of al-Bashir for another term in the future,” said the PCP in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday

“Accordingly, the PCP is not a party to the drafting and presenting of the document: “Covenant and Charter” as it stands and will not participate in the submission of this document [to al-Bashir]” added the statement

It is noteworthy that the document, which is addressed to President al-Bashir, states the following: “We renew our covenant with you as our country is firmly moving forward to achieve its goals under your wise leadership at present and in the future”.

The document carried the signature of a number of political parties including two factions of the Democratic Unionist Party, PCP, NCP, Liberal Democratic Party, Umma Party, Free Will Movement, World People’s Friendship Party, Sudanese Socialist Union, Revolutionary Committees Movement and Ansar al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyah Group.

Last week, several newspapers in Khartoum quoted a DUP source as saying the party leader Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani, who is also the guide of the Khatmiyya Sufi order, called for the re-election of President al-Bashir for a third term to “achieve the national consensus and lead the dialogue and reconciliation to its goals and objectives.”

But, a member of the DUP leadership, Ali al-Sayyid, told Sudan Tribune that the statement attributed to al-Mirghani “is false and baseless”.

Also, there were media reports that the United States has linked the full normalization of relations with Sudan to al-Bashir’s departure from office by 2020.

However, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Friday denied Washington has asked al-Bashir to step down at the end of his term.

On Thursday, the ruling NCP delayed indefinitely the meeting of the Shura Council which was expected to discuss among other issues the party presidential nominee in the 2020 elections.

Al-Bashir in March 2012 said he wouldn’t seek his re-election in April 2015 but he ran and won in an election that was boycotted by the major opposition parties.

In August 2016, he said “I’m not a dictator and I don’t want to cling to power. I won’t run for another term, my term will end by 2020 and I won’t be able to run again according to the constitution and the constitution won’t be amended”.

(ST)

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