April 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) —Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) appeared confident of securing victory in the ongoing elections and offered opposition parties to join a "broad based" government that will be formed after the poll results are announced starting next week.
- Sudan’s presidential advisor Ghazi Salah Al-Deen (Reuters)
- Sudan’s presidential advisor Ghazi Salaheddin talks to reporters after his meeting with U.S. envoy Scott Gration (not pictured) in Khartoum April 1, 2010 (Reuters)
"If we are declared winners in the elections ... we would extend the invitation to all parties, even those who have not participated in the elections, to join the government because we believe this is a critical moment in our history," the Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani told reporters today.
"We are facing important decisions like self-determination in the south and would like to garner as much support and as much consensus as we can" Al-Attabani added.
Sudan’s legislative and presidential polls are the first multi-party elections since 1986 but were marred by logistical and technical issues as well as boycotts by opposition parties including the Umma party, Northern sector of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan Communist Party (SCP) and Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP).
Observers said the circumstances surrounded these elections undermine its credibility and legitimacy sought by President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who faces an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of Darfur crimes.
But Al-Attabani said that the election results will be recognized by the world even if Bashir, an unpopular figure in the west, is declared winner along with the NCP.
"Any politician in his right mind would not decline such an offer," he said.
Two parties that are likely to take up the NCP offer are the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani and Popular Congress Party (PCP) head by Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi.
The DUP has grown closer to the NCP in recent years and has distanced itself from an opposition alliance formed in Juba last year and there has been frequent reports of figures within the second largest party in Sudan seeking to join an NCP dominated government.
Al-Turabi who was a former ally of Bashir and fell out with him in 1999 has suggested yesterday that it is possible for his party to join hands with the NCP should they revert back to the principles of the 1989 coup that he was its ideological mastermind.
Today on the Qatar based Al-Jazeera channel, the PCP leader said that violations that occurred during the elections do not amount to fraud and that they were simply "minor mistakes".
The SPLM presidential candidate who withdrew days before the elections Yasir Arman dismissed the NCP offer saying it will not solve the problems faced by the country stressing that the ruling party is implicitly admitting to committing fraud by making deals when no results have been announced yet.
The Umma party gave the offer a cautious welcome, saying it was interested in holding talks with the NCP and other parties, although it was too early to commit to joining a coalition.
"Let us talk about dialogue first, how to solve Sudan’s problems," said Umma vice-president Fadlalla Burma.
Newspaper reports in Khartoum suggested that Bashir intends to replace figures which has been part of the government for 20+ years including Vice president Ali Osman Taha who may be removed in favor of a Darfuri figure such as Al-Tigani Al-Sissi who was recently appointed as head of the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).