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Sudanese parliament delays final discussions on electoral law for second time

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National Assembly building (File photo Getty)
November 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese National Assembly Speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omer Thursday announced postponement for the second time of a parliamentary session dedicated to debating the 2018 draft election law on the third reading.

He pointed out that the discussion of the final stage of the election bill would be held on Monday, saying the delay was meant to allow for achieving further consensus on the draft law.

According to Omer, views of the political forces have diverged on three items of the draft bill including the election of the states’ governors, the number of polling days and the voting of the Sudanese expatriates on the proportional lists.

The Sudanese Council of Ministers last June approved the 2018 elections law amid objection of several political forces participating in the national dialogue.

In January 2014, al-Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalizing national identity.

In October 2016, political forces participating in the dialogue concluded the process by signing the National Document which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalised by transitional institutions.

A National Consensus Government (NCG) was installed in May 2017 to implement the outcome of the dialogue conference.

The opposition groups boycotted the national dialogue because the government didn’t agree to a humanitarian truce with the armed groups and due to its refusal to implement a number of confidence-building measures aiming to create a conducive environment in the country before to hold an inclusive dialogue

Last May, 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.

However, some opposition groups within the Sudan Call alliance said they would participate in the 2020 elections if President Omer al-Bashir does not run for president again.

Several political forces had the idea that the future elections would provide the opportunity to achieve peaceful change in Sudan paving the way for democratic changes.

(ST)

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