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Sudan’s opposition to discuss 2020 elections in upcoming Paris meeting: al-Mahdi

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May 15, 2018 (CAIRO) - Leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) and chairman of the opposition coalition Sudan Call Sadiq al-Mahdi said the alliance would meet in Paris during the next few days to discuss a number of issues including the 2020 elections.

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Sadiq al-Mahdi speaks to France 24 on 15 March 2018 (ST photo)

The Sudan Call is expected to meet in Paris within a week to discuss several files including organizational issues as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Al-Mahdi told Sudan Tribune from his place of residence in the Egyptian capital, Cairo that Sudan is dying due to the failed policies of Sudanese regime, saying the discussion of the causes of failure must have a priority over the 2020 elections.

“But, in principle, there is no patriot or sane person who doesn’t welcome [a call] to hold free and fair elections,” he said.

“Yes, [Paris] meeting would discuss the issue of the elections in order to remove the confusion created by the regime about it, and as I expect, everyone will agree that any elections must be held after meeting certain requirements without which elections would become useless,” he added.

He pointed out that the Sudan Call during the upcoming meeting look forward to agreeing on “a comprehensive covenant to build the homeland”, saying this covenant would be combined with the proposed alternative policies in order to achieve the desired objective.

The veteran leader stressed the Sudan Call forces would clearly state that this objective would only be achieved through peaceful means.

He added the Sudanese regime must choose between holding a dialogue that is based upon agreed requirements or facing a sit-in uprising that would be launched in 1000 positions inside Sudan and abroad.

Al-Mahdi further said the meeting would underline readiness to achieve a permanent ceasefire and allow humanitarian access as well as to state clearly that the armed movements would keep their weapons and use it only in self-defence until reaching a just and comprehensive peace.

He also pointed to the need to launch a diplomatic campaign to convince the regional and international powers to support the objectives of the alliance.

Last month, a coalition of some opposition left parties, the National Consensus Forces (NCF), announced the boycott of the 2020 elections, saying it won’t meet with the ruling party to discuss these elections.

On the other hand, several opposition groups within the Sudan Call consider participating in the 2020 general presidential elections if the regime of President Omer al-Bashir provides needed guarantees for a fair election and ensures freedoms.

Contrary to the NCF, the Sudan Call groups accept to negotiate a political settlement with the government. The umbrella which includes armed groups is part of a process brokered by the African Union.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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