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Turabi holds meeting with Sudan’s Bashir: official

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July 13, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – An official in Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) revealed that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir held talks with the head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi on the latter’s vision for what frequently describes as a “successive regime”.

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Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir shakes hands with Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party in Khartoum on 14 March 2014 (SUNA)

Hamid Mumtaz, NCP’s political relations secretary, told reporters on Monday that the previously unannounced meeting sought to unify the search of what he called "the unification of Ahlul-Qiblah (People praying to Mecca)” but he denied that it tackled the issue of bringing together the divergent Islamic movements.

He did not say when or where the meeting took place.

The NCP official said Ahlul-Qiblah would include “all Islamic movements, Sufis, Salafists, contemporary movements, Arab nationalists and leftist movements as well as a civil society".

Mumtaz said Turabi spelled out his “successive regime” proposal in detail.

It is believed to be seeking to overcome what is widely viewed as the failure of Islamic parties in governance and establish a new organization for them along with the NCP and overlook the bitterness of the past and take into account the issue of freedoms and diversity in Sudan.

Turabi has asserted last week his confidence in the possibility of re-uniting the Islamic movement in Sudan "sooner or later", emphasizing that it must be achieved within a year and called for praying towards this goal.

The PCP led by Turabi split from the NCP in 1999 in a major rift among Islamists and later al-Tayeb Mustafa split to form the Just Peace Forum (JPF) and most recently Ghazi Salah al-Din al-Attabani established the Reform Now Movement (RNM) in October 2013.

Turabi was the mastermind of the 1989 Islamists coup which brought Bashir to power. However, the two men fell out in a bitter power struggle ten years later. Al-Turabi was ousted from the NCP and he later moved to form the PCP and become one of the government’s most outspoken critics.

But since early 2014 he has effectively left opposition ranks saying they have failed in toppling the regime and spoke enthusiastically of the national dialogue launched by Bashir in January 2014.

(ST)

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