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Sudan’s transitional parliament may be postponed for more time


May 3, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - A leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in Sudan suggested that the formation of the Transitional Legislative Council would be postponed until after May 9th, due to the coalition’s failure to reach an agreement on the distribution of the seats.

Building of the Sudanese parliament in Omdurman

Sudan’s ruling partners -Sovereign Council, Council of Ministers and the FFC- last month agreed to form the transitional parliament by the 9th of May.

"We have not yet come up with a mechanism to allocate seats for the Legislative Council, while the remaining time will not suffice, so I expect it would be postponed until the after ninth May," FFC Coordination Council Member, Gaafar Hassan Osman told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

He attributed the lack of agreement on an appropriate mechanism to the presence of many factors to be considered in the selection process of parliamentarians, among which the representation of women, youth, resistance committees and political forces, in addition to taking into account geographical variation.

Osman pointed out that all these elements obligate them to conduct the selection process of lawmakers properly.

The constitutional document governing the transitional period grants 67% of the total number of seats in the Legislative Council to the FFC, while the remaining percentage will be allocated to the forces that did not sign the FFC declaration but supported the revolution.

State Governors

In a related development, Osman who is a leading member of the Unionist Alliance said the FFC have no intention to amend the list of nominees for state governors, which has been sharply criticized by the National Umma Party (NUP) of Sadiq al-Mahdi and the civil society groups.

"There is no intention to amend the list of nominees, stressing that the nominations have been submitted to the FFC leadership by its sections at the state level," he said.

He pointed out that there is no other mechanism for choosing nominees for governor than the FFC. The alternative of direct universal suffrage elections will take place only after the end of the transitional period, according to the Constitutional Document.

The FFC leading member stated that the NUP, which criticized the list of nominees for governor, was part of the selection process before to hand it over to the Prime Minister.

On 22 April, the NUP decided to freeze its activities in the FFC and called on its partners to meet within two weeks to discuss ways to achieve democratic transition’s goals.

A year after the ouster of the former regime, difference between the party of Sadiq al-Mahdi and the alliance of the left groups, National Consensus Forces, surfaced again during the meeting of the FFC.

Recently, the NUP complained that the small left groups nominated governors for important states the party has more supporters.

Regarding the NUP call to reform FFC structures, Osman said that the coalition was in the process of holding a conference on the matter, but the social distancing rules to combat the coronavirus pandemic prevented it from taking place.

He stressed that the coalition needs to review many issues, but pointed out that these reforms should not be based on personal opinion, but rather should be conducted after in a deliberate way to make a real reform.


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