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DUP faction to launch legal action over party’s participation in 2015 elections


February 2, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The faction of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that is opposed to participating in April general elections plans to lodge a challenge with the National Elections Commission (NEC) over its acceptance of al-Hassan al-Mirghani as the party’s representative.

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DUP’s leader Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani

Leading DUP figure Ali al-Sayed told Sudan Tribune on Monday that a group from the party’s leadership body led by Sheikh Hassan Abu-Sabeeb will file a petition at the Electoral Appeals Court to claim the invalidity of the proceedings initiated by some within the party to register in the elections.

He asserted that the petition filed by members of the executive office and the leadership bureau is against NEC accepting DUP’s nomination papers from al-Mirghani as it has not been issued by the party’s institutions.

The NEC has categorically refused to furnish the DUP legal committee with a letter attributed to the party leadership authorising a delegate to submit election papers.

But the electoral body did allow the committee to review other documents showing al-Mirghani as a politburo member without identifying his organisational status that allows him to act on the party’s behalf.

Al-Sayed stressed that al-Mirghani acted alone without the involvement of the party leaders, and provided a letter to NEC without any authority.

He also questioned the validity of the seal appended to the letter provided by al-Mirghani to the NEC which has party leadership letterhead saying “there is no such stamp at the DUP”.

“But the NEC in its quest for a major party to participate with the National Congress Party (NCP) in the elections accepted the [DUP] documents despite its flaws,” he added.

Al-Sayed said that they will seek to confirm the invalidity of the mandate of al-Mirghani and subsequently the entire DUP electoral process.

He said the correct legal decision would be to accept the appeal and annul the party’s participation in the elections.

The DUP official also pointed out that many of the party cadres in the states are preparing to withdraw their nomination papers after discovering that their names were listed without their knowledge.

He rejected a move by a by a DUP committee to investigate him and others for refusing to endorse the party’s participation in elections, saying it includes junior lawyers and “has no political or legal value”.

Al-Sayed said the NCP is desperately seeking to ensure the DUP participate in the elections through al-Hassan al-Mirghani to suppress all party voices wanting to boycott.

He declared that they will undertake efforts across the country to push members to boycott the elections

Earlier this month, cabinet affairs minister and DUP official Ahmed Sa’ad Omer said al-Mirghani had given his blessing to president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s candidacy for the presidency.

Other officials said that the party will participate in the legislative elections at the federal and state level.

The DUP left opposition ranks and joined the “broad-base” government of the NCP in December 2011, citing the “need to save the country” in the words of al-Mirghani himself.

The decision of one of Sudan’s biggest opposition parties to join the government has created a great deal of internal dissent that saw many members quitting in protest. The party received three ministries in the federal cabinet.

Major opposition parties such as the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Popular Congress Party (PCP) said they will not participate in the elections asserting that NCP holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromise to end the country’s ongoing civil war and allow public liberties.

Al-Bashir has challenged opposition parties to participate in upcoming elections and pledged that they will be free, fair and transparent.

“I dare you participate in the elections,” he said to opposition parties.

The Sudanese president asserted he will allow opposition forces to hold public rallies to lay out their programs in order to allow the Sudanese people to choose their representatives.

However, over the past year Sudanese authorities have stepped up their crackdown on opposition parties and their leadership as well as activists, civil society and press.


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