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Bashir’s decisions leave open door for military rule in Sudan, says NFC

President Al-Bashir and his FVP and Defence minister with the military governors on 23 Feb 2019 (ST Photo)
February 24, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The National Front for Change (NFC) led by Ghazi Salah al-Din condemned the recent Sudanese president’s decisions saying it confirms tyranny, ends the national dialogue and opens the door to survival under a military rule.

President Omer al-Bashir on Friday imposed a state of emergency in the country for a year. He also ordered parliament to postpone considering constitutional amendments allowing him to run for an additional term, dissolved the federal government and dismissed state governors and replaced them with generals.

These decisions "mean practically the end of the national dialogue and invalid its output because it confirms tyranny rather than relying on political remedies," said the NFC, which includes forces participating in the initiative of national dialogue, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The statement pointed out that these decisions confused observers and citizens alike, as they "showed a fundamental error in understanding the root causes of the problem and the means of solution."

Regarding al-Bashir call for dialogue, the Front pointed out that it is impossible to establish a joint action as long as there is no agreement on the terms of reference of dialogue.

"Dialogue cannot be held in such circumstances where the most basic freedoms are not available," stressed the statement, after referring to the arrest of journalists, activists or politicians after criticizing the state of emergency.

On 3 January the National Front for Change and the Umma Party of Mubarak al-Fadel called on al-Bashir to transfer power to a collegial leadership body that will oversee and ensure democratic reforms and peace talks with the rebel groups led by a transitional government.

The statement pointed out that the appointment of military governors means "isolating the political and civil class from participating in the management, construction and development of their states."

On al-Bashir’s reelection, the statement noted that the president had just postponed the deliberations on the constitutional amendments, while what is required is to cancel the constitutional amendments altogether.

The Front further said the postponement of deliberations, on the other hand, may lead to the failure of the elections which means that Sudan may remain under military rule indefinitely.

The statement which meant to respond to all the decisions announced by al-Bashir continued to say that Bashir cannot say he stands at the same distance from all the political forces and remain at the same time the leader of the ruling National Congress Party.

This situation "creates a harmful duality" said the statement, adding that under this status he evades the control of the party and becomes unaccountable to any authority.

Al-Bashir did not provide any useful suggestions for the two most important issues, "peace and the economic situation", although they are at the heart of the current crisis, concluded the opposition party.