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Al-Mahdi says willing to early election in Sudan under some conditions

Al-Mahdi speaks at a workshop on the state of emergency on 3 April 2019 ( ST photo)
May 30, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the National Umma Party (NUP) and Sudan Call alliance said they are willing to take part in early elections if a number of benchmarks are fulfilled.

The Transitional Military Council threatened several times to hold early elections if the deadlock with the Forces for Freedom and Changes continues.

In an interview with London based Alquds Alarabi released on Thursday, al-Mahdi welcomed the early elections. However, he warned that if the TMC decides unilaterally to hold elections they would boycott it if no agreement on the elections was reached.

"Talking about early elections is legitimate, because the military junta and the freedom and change forces have no popular mandate, but they have a revolutionary mandate," he said.

However, al-Mahdi stressed that before elections the TMC has to clear the cadre of the formerly ruling National Congress Party who continue to control key jobs in the Sudanese state.

He pointed to the parallel organs established by the regime like the Popular Defence forces must be repealed and stripped of their military capabilities.

Further, he pointed out the need for new election law and a neutral election commission to oversee the electoral process.

Lt-Gen Salah Abdel Khaliq of the TMC said on Friday they had no intention to give up the Sovereign Council for the opposition parties. He added they would remain in power until power hand over to an elected government.

"No matter how loud their voice is, they (the opposition) do not represent the entire Sudanese people," he said. " Representation shall be through the ballot box, whoever obtains the majority we shall give him full authority."