Home | News    Thursday 13 June 2013

Opposition leader distances himself from 100-day scheme to topple regime

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June 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi, has distanced himself from a 100-day plan to overthrow the government which was adopted last week by the opposition umbrella National Consensus forces (NCF).

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The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi (Photo: Reuters)

Al-Mahdi said at a press conference on Wednesday that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has to choose between sitting at a round table with all opposition forces to resolve the issues of the country and forming a transitional government or facing a popular uprising and peaceful protests.

The former prime minister also announced a new initiative to change the regime through collecting a million signatures and organising sit-ins in public squares and other places.

He pointed out that the initiative will be implemented expeditiously to avert any possible war between Khartoum and Juba, with the aim of finding common ground with Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels.

Al-Mahdi disclosed that he was approached to participate in the summit meeting which will soon be organised by the presidency, saying that he had been assured that all parties will participate in the meeting and that freedom of discussion will be fully guaranteed.

The NUP leader, who avoided using the phrase “toppling the regime” and instead used “changing the regime”, downplayed the effectiveness of the NCF’s 100-day plan, saying his initiative offered a different solution.

He called upon authorities not to suppress the sit-ins and said that “We will try to avoid clashes with the authorities and the latter must respect the desire of the people”, adding that internal circumstances are conducive for change.

Al-Mahdi also revealed that he made contacts with some international parties about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant against Sudan’s president, Omer al-Bashir, to arrive at an agreement, saying that the parties showed flexibility towards his call for reconciling between stability and the implications of the arrest warrant.

He directed scathing criticism at the NCF, saying the 100-day plan to topple the regime is in effect an explicit call to suppress it and said that his party was not involved in the preparation and coordination of the plan, stressing that he supports change through peaceful means and not toppling the government within 100 days.

NUP’s representative at the NCF, Abd Al-Galil Al-Basha, passed a note to Al-Mahdi during his remarks, saying that he had participated in all stages of preparation for the 100-day plan.

However, al-Mahdi ignored the note, saying instead that the initiative was aimed at mobilising, not overthrowing the regime.

The NUP leader further called upon the government to reconsider its decision to halt the flow of South Sudan’s oil through Sudanese territory and said that the government’s pretext for stoppage is a “lame excuse” as rebel support continued even after Juba shut down its oil fields last January following a dispute over transit fees.

He also praised remarks by South Sudanese president Salva Kiir calling for calm.

Khartoum has said that its decision to halt the flow of oil was in response to South Sudan’s funding of rebels fighting his government.

Al-Mahdi said that African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki will put forward new proposals to bring closer the views of Sudan and South Sudan notably, the formation of a committee of wise men to take up the complaints of the two sides, saying that Mbeki believes that the main differences between the two countries are the support of the armed opposition and disagreement over border areas.

In a separate issue, the opposition leader said that Sudan would largely benefit from the controversial Ethiopian renaissance dam as it will provide continuous water flow throughout the year, as well as reducing sedimentation in Al-Rusairs dam and producing cheap electricity which could be exported to Sudan.

The remarks by the NUP chief will likely fuel long-standing suspicions by other opposition parties that al-Mahdi is working to frustrate any efforts to move in the direction of regime change.

The decision by al-Mahdi’s son, Abdel-Rahman, to take up the post of presidential assistant was widely seen as a step by al-Mahdi to appease the ruling NCP.

Some within the NUP politburo privately say that they believe al-Mahdi has forged a secret deal with the NCP in which he agreed to block any efforts in the direction of regime change.

(ST)

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  • 13 June 2013 08:37, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    Sadig El Mahdi has the right to distance himself from 100days regime change in Khartoum,since his son is the advicesor to the president of sudan,he will not spoil that money from their mouth.
    OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 13 June 2013 09:10, by Nibs

      ’Sit-in’! to topple the regime of Homo Bashit?! El Mahdi is from another planet, most likely venue.

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  • 13 June 2013 08:38, by Riek Met

    its better for other party to take apart no matter NCP has been reinstrate for more than 22 years ,we other sudaness keeping afirm that the party will soon step down 100 days were not far next we need any negotiation with the patry again.

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  • 13 June 2013 08:41, by Joseph Canada

    HE’S AFRAID OF BEING THROWN INTO JAIL WITH NO APEAL. HE HAVE NO BALLS TO STAND AND OPPOSE BASHIT. HE HAVE BEEN DE-BALLED.

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  • 13 June 2013 14:08, by Kalo

    No one need you Almahdi,shut up!!!becoz you are coward and you are also sharing with NCP in the same cup of drinks
    The son of Nuba

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    • 13 June 2013 15:54, by Paul Ongee

      The suspicions of the other opposition parties are correct; Omer Al-Bashir is using Al-Mahdi to frustrate any efforts to move in a direction of regime change. This is the word Al-Bashir hates hearing like seeing the map of South Sudan with all its resources. Why should Al-Mahdi not frustrate the efforts of regime change while his son Abdel-Rahman is a presidential assistant?

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      • 13 June 2013 15:54, by Paul Ongee

        If Al-Mahdi rejects the 100-day plan of the NCF to overthrow Al-Bashir, he should then advocate the 1-day plan to overthrow Al-Bashir as it happened to him in June 1989. Basically what Sudanese people desperately need is change no matter how it takes place violently or peacefully. Somebody wanted by ICC can never agree with the forces of change.

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        • 13 June 2013 15:55, by Paul Ongee

          Omer Al-Bashir will waste no time to arrest and detain people whose signatures appeared on the list. There is no guarantee for the sit-ins to take place. To Al-Bashir, this is a peaceful way of easily identifying his opponents who desperately want him out of power. Bashir can either allow the sit-ins if he guarantees access to the list or the sit-ins will face tear gas at his disposal.

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          • 13 June 2013 16:01, by Paul Ongee

            This is not the kind of pressure needed for regime change/toppling the regime or whatever language Al-Mahdi prefers most. The longer the opposition forces disagree on effective approach to regime change, the better off Omer Al-Bashir.

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            • 13 June 2013 16:14, by Paul Ongee

              Just a correction.
              This is not the kind of pressure needed for regime change/toppling the regime or whatever language Al-Mahdi prefers most. The longer the opposition forces disagree on effective approach to regime change, the better off Omer Al-Bashir positions himself to butcher his opponents/people with impunity.

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          • 13 June 2013 16:12, by Robot

            Paul,
            I like your analysis and whenever i see a comment like this i compliment and not waste time again posting the same thing again... thank you, your comment is fabulous.

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  • 14 June 2013 08:36, by Chogo Chuka

    Al-mahdi your crowd and feeding from Ncp you have no view
    only covering and forge ur stupid idea to confused people but just wait sooner or later you and ncp leaders will be in the same bout either you like it or not SRF will teach you lesson the arab blood will not forget Black people in the world continue siding with ncp Kafir
    Son of Nuba

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