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DUP figure says Arab states pressured his party to join Sudan’s government

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December 13, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – A leading member of Sudan’s former opposition Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has revealed that alleged foreign pressure was used as an excuse to goad his party into joining Sudan’s government.

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DUP’s leader Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani

The decision of the DUP led by Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani to join the “broad-base” government formed at the beginning of the week by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has triggered an in-party crisis that saw many members tendering their resignations and others protesting in their home areas.

Other major opposition groups including the National Umma Party of former Prime Minister Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi refused to join the government and vowed to remain in opposition ranks.

Abu-al-Hasan Farah, a senior DUP member who opposed his party’s joining of the government, told the Khartoum-based daily newspaper Alwan on Monday that some Arab countries including Saudi Arabia had exerted pressure on his party to join the government.

He pointed out that these pressures by Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries focused on containing the influence of Muslim Shi’a groups in the region.

But according to Farah, these pressures were used as “unacceptable” excuse to bring the party to join the government. He further accused those who engineered the party’s participation in the government of corruption and self-maximizing.

"There are members who have benefited and have become corrupt like members of the Salvation Revolution, [the ruling National Congress Party],” adding that he had warned the DUP’s leader Al-Mirghani against participation.

Leading DUP figures who opposed the party’s decision to join the government have been observed to refrain from criticizing Al-Mirghani in public despite the perception that he was behind the decision to join the government. This trend could be attributed to the fact that Al-Mirghani is a religious figure.

(ST)

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