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Sadiq al-Mahdi says Sudan’s opposition needs leadership body before power transfer

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Al-Mahdi speaks at a workshop on the state of emergency on 3 April 2019 ( ST photo)
May 6, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi, Sunday called for the formation of a leadership council for the Freedom and Changes forces before to continue talks with the military council over power transition.

The members of the opposition negotiating team reportedly handed over a position paper in the name of the Freedom and change coalition accepting the head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan chairs the transitional sovereignty council without their approval and in flagrant contradiction with the principle of ’transitional civilian council’ agreed by all the parties.

The move also triggered a quarrel among the members of the opposition coalition as many slammed the communist party for voicing publically its rejection in violation of an agreement they reached to speak with one voice.

In statements to Al-Arabiya TV, al-Mahdi who is also the Sudan Call leader criticized what the "forces of freedom and change" were doing, and described the recent developments as "absurd".

He called for the formation of a leadership council for the forces of freedom and change, stressing that any negotiations before the composition of the leadership council do not represent them.

"What if the military council declares its readiness to hand over power, to whom they will transfer it?"

However, the opposition leader reiterated his rejection for escalation with the military council, adding "we need to achieve the transitional period first before to head for free and fair election".

Late on Sunday evening, the freedom and change forces released a joint statement to apologize for the Sudanese "about the confusion that has weakened our positions over the last few days".

The statement further announced they reached an agreement to speak with one voice with the media, acceptance of the mediation made by independent figures, and their full commitment to the objectives of the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

(ST)

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