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Opposition’s PCP rejects new delay of Sudan’s dialogue

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July 23, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) expressed its opposition to a proposition by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to delay the national dialogue to next October saying they can no longer accept a new postponement.

Head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan al-Turabi gestures during an interview in Khartoum on 3 October 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

NCP officials said last June they would launch the national dialogue after the end of Ramadan. But, some other members within the ruling party and some dialogue forces said it is better to delay it in order to persuade the holdout forces to take part in the process.

PCP political secretary and representative at the national dialogue coordination committee (7+7), Kamal Omer, told Sudan Tribune Thursday that a row erupted between the members of the panel during its last meeting over a proposal to postpone the process to next October .

"The People’s Congress strongly objected to this proposal and is still objecting," Omer said, adding "We are not with any delay".

He said there are urgent issues like war and public freedoms that need to be settled though this process, pointing that the dialogue has been delayed several times for unjustified reasons such as "the elections, the presidential inauguration, the cabinet reshuffle, Ramadan, and now they talk about postponing it until after the Hajj (pilgrim)".

The PCP official further disclosed that his party proposed to hold a meeting of the 7+7 next week and to convene the national dialogue general assembly within two weeks to resume the dialogue and to select the 50 national personalities that would participate in the process.

Omer called on the government to create a conducive environment in the country and to release the political prisoners, to stop war, to allow humanitarian access for the needy in the rebel held areas, and to ensure public freedoms including the lifting of restrictions on the press.

He added that the government must take the needed measures to enable the dialogue committee to negotiate with the holdout parties and armed groups and to persuade them to join the process.

"We need a new development to convince others," he said.

earlier this week, some members of the dialogue committee expressed their willingness to meet with the political and armed opposition groups outside the country to persuade them to participate in the political conference that would be held inside the country.

Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir who is also the chairman of the ruling party launched the national process in January 2014 and called for an all parties conference to discuss ways to end war and endorse a new permanent constitution in Sudan.

Bashir also said the rebels can participate and vowed to provide the necessary guaranties for their participation.

But the government was blamed for refusing to take the necessary confidence building measures. Also, Khartoum was criticized by the international community after the government refusal to take part in a pre-dialogue meeting organized by the African Union by the end of March.

The oppositions groups said the government is not serious it its demarche and called for a new inclusive and comprehensive process to be held outside the country under the auspices of the African Union.

(ST)

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