October 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Islamist leader and secretary general of Popular Conference Party (PCP), Hassan Al-Turabi, disclosed that despite his alliance with the opposition parties he remains attached to the project of an Islamic state in Sudan.
- Hassan Al-Turabi (ST)
Turabi is at odds with his former followers of the National Congress Party (NCP) led by President Omer Al-Bashir since 1999, after a rift over a reform of regional administration and the rule of the military ten years after their military coup against a democratic regime in June 1989.
Last July, he inked with the other opposition parties a political programme called the Democratic Alternative Charter (DAC) where the signatories agree to use peaceful means to remove NCP’s regime and commit themselves to hold a constitutional conference during the post Bachir interim period.
The charter provides the principles that should guide the process of writing the constitution, including that Sudan is "a civil democratic state" predicated on equal citizenship rights.
Turabi however in a long interview with London based Asharq Al-Awsat said his temporary alliance with the opposition parties is limited to establish a regime where liberties will be guaranteed in the countries, during the three year interim period, stressing he will work to establish an Islamic state in Sudan.
"During the interim period, we do not want anything except the principle of freedom. We did not speak about Islamic state to oppose what they propose civil state which means no-religious state,” he said wondering “why they do not deal honestly and say non-religious?"
The Islamist leader went on saying "We told them we agree on freedom, and by the end of the interim period, everyone has the right to provide whatever he wants."
Turabi explained himself with more clarity saying he will work against his allies once the current regime is toppled, stressing they would be hypocrites if they say they work to establish a secular state in Sudan.
The defence of Islamic state is at the centre of the discussions inside the PCP, as many voices call to reconsider the position of the party from the regime on the basis of its political goal “Islamic state” and not on personal quarrels, alluding to Turabi’s deep hatred to First Vice-President Ali Osman Taha and President Bashir.
Vice President Al-Haj Adam Youssef was one of Turabi’s close aides who decided to rejoin the ruling party saying the issue of Islamic state is more important that the past disputes.
These statements also threaten the unity of opposition forces and weaken possibilities of rapprochement with the armed groups.
The rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front makes this issue a prerequisite for any alliance with the political forces and widen the gap between them.
In August 2011, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement –North and two factions of Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur and Minni Minnawi rejected any alliance with Justice and Equality Movement unless the group accept clearly the civil state, and delayed the formal announcement of the front to November 2011.
The issue of Islamic state tops the government’s agenda as it called on the opposition forces to engage consultations on the new constitution after the independence of South Sudan, considering that the secession paves the way for a religious state.