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Sudan’s PCP says freedoms bill will be introduced to parliament soon

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Sudan's National Assembly (SUNA file photo)

January 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) of the late Hassan al-Turabi Wednesday disclosed it has agreed with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to deposit the constitutional amendments pertaining to public freedoms to the parliament for approval.

On October 25th, 2016, Sudanese presidency deposited new amendments to the 2005 transitional constitution with the parliament, which allow introducing a Prime Minister post, increasing the number of national MPs and adopting the name of the Government of National Concord.

However, amendments related to public freedoms weren’t deposited with the parliament prompting the PCP to voice concern over the move and threatened to disavow the national dialogue process entirely.

PCP political secretary Kamal Omer told reporters that the public freedoms amendments are essential for the political reality in Sudan, saying they wouldn’t compromise on issues of liberties and democratic transformation.

He said that a committee from the PCP headed by him has met with the NCP, pointing the latter agreed to the required constitutional amendments without any objection.

Omer pointed that the new amendments is on its way to the presidency, saying President Omer al-Bashir is expected to issue a decision to deposit it with the parliament.

“We have ongoing contacts with the NCP and they confirmed that the amendments might reach the parliament next week,” he said.

Since January 2014, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has been leading a national dialogue process whose stated aims are to resolve the armed conflicts, achieve political freedoms, alleviate poverty and the economic crisis, and address the national identity crisis.

Last October, the political forces participating at the national dialogue concluded the process by signing the National Document which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalized by transitional institutions.

The opposition groups boycotted the process because the government didn’t agree on humanitarian truce with the armed groups and due to its refusal to implement a number of confidence building measures.

The Islamist Popular Congress Party splinted from the NCP since 1999, and joined the opposition ranks since that time but it supported the dialogue process and participated in all its forums.

(ST)

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