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Sudanese court dismisses challenge to DUP’s participation in elections


March 15, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – A court in Khartoum has dismissed on Sunday an appeal filed by leading figures at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) against legality of registering the party to participate in the general elections scheduled in April.

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Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani (file photo)

Al-Hassan al-Mirghani, who is the DUP chief’s son, was accused by senior party figures of forging a letter that names him as representative before Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC).

These figures who oppose having the DUP contest in the elections, assert that the move was done behind their backs and without the consent of the party’s institutions.

Ali al-Sayed, a member of this group told Sudan Tribune that decision of judge, Mudathir al-Rashid, pointed to lack of appellant’s capacity to sue and said the court has no jurisdiction over cases related to the NEC.

He said the court’s decision did not come as a surprise, noting that the electoral law was drafted so as to serve the interests of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) who sought with all its might to keep the DUP in the elections race.

Al-Sayed added that the judge’s decision also cited the electoral law which states that the NEC’s decisions regarding approval of parties’ representatives is not subject to judicial review.

The court ruling pointed that NEC’s decision to approve Al-Hassan al-Mirghani as DUP representative was made according to the amended 2014 elections law, saying the letter that names the former as representative before the NEC was issued by the party.

Al-Sayed also asserted that Al-Hassan al-Mirghani and the DUP are being controlled by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), claiming that the latter determines the DUP’s constituencies and names its candidates.

He expected that al-Hassan al-Mirghani will immediately resume his elections campaign following this court decision, revealing that they submitted a request to the registrar of the political parties to hold an “extraordinary convention” for the DUP.

Altayeb al-Abasi, member of the DUP’s legal committee, for his part, said they will appeal today’s decision at the Constitutional Court, describing the ruling as “flawed”.

He described at a press conference on Sunday the recent developments within the DUP as “conspiracy and dangerous plot”, accusing the NCP of making decisions at his party including recent decision to dismiss several of its leaders.

“Those who violated party constitution and decisions are the ones who must be dismissed”, he said.

Seventeen of the DUP dissidents have reportedly been fired by al-Hassan last month for violating the party’s rules.

Al-Abasi the court decision will lead to chaos within the DUP, pointing that leaders who have been dismissed by Al-Hassan Al-Mirghani could take a similar decision and dismiss their opponents because they enjoy the same powers as him.

He criticized the judge’s decision which denied capacity of the appellants particularly Hassan Abu-Sabeeb who considered one of the oldest and prominent DUP figures.

“We adore and respect religious figures and hence we wouldn’t allow any party whatsoever to belittle our political leaders. How does the court dare to say that Abu- Sabeeb has no capacity to sue”, he said.

Al-Abasi further described what has been going on within the DUP as “sedition”, saying it was caused by bodies associated with the NCP.

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


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