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Sudan’s PCP says dialogue outcome “gone with the wind”

April 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Popular Congress Party (PCP) of the late Islamic leader Hassan al-Turabi Tuesday expressed disappointment on the approval of constitutional amendments without restraining the powers of the security apparatus saying the parliament move has trashed the recommendations of the national dialogue conference.

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Popular Congress Party (PCP) Political secretary Kamal Omer (Photo SUNA)

In February, Sudanese presidency deposited new amendments to the 2005 transitional constitution with the parliament providing to restrict the powers of the security services and to guarantee political freedoms.

The new amendments propose that the role of the NISS be reduced to the collection of information and to not be able to detain someone without an arrest warrant issued by a judge. Also, it ends press confiscation and censorship.

However, the National Assembly Monday passed the report of the parliamentary emergency committee for constitutional amendments retaining powers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

In statements to Sudan Tribune Tuesday, PCP political secretary Kamal Omer described the decision of the emergency committee for constitutional amendments as “disappointing”, saying it discourages the implementation of the dialogue outcome.

He considered the amendments introduced by the committee to the “Freedoms” document a breach that would undermine the future of liberties in Sudan, saying the document was put in the constitution not the subsidiary laws in order to protect freedoms.

Omer added the committee’s move has shattered hope for any constitutional reforms, saying the constitutional outcome of the national dialogue “has gone with the wind”.

The PCP official said his party’s participation in the upcoming government of national concord would be useless in light of the “killing” of the constitutional amendments, pointing it wouldn’t lead to any real change in the structure of governance.

It is noteworthy that the emergency committee for constitutional amendments has cancelled seven items from the article (29) pertaining to freedoms, saying the items included details and figures that should be put in the law, not the constitution.

Omer stressed that all options would be open for the PCP had liberties been compromised, saying his party leadership is monitoring the developments and wouldn’t accept the decisions of the committee.

He further criticised the behaviour of the committee and its composition, saying it sought to draw a distorted picture about the “Freedoms” document in order to antagonise the public opinion against it.

It is noteworthy that the PCP splinted from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) since 1999, and joined the opposition ranks since that time but it supported the national dialogue process declared by President Omer al-Bashir in 2014 and participated in all its forums.

Also, the party decided to join the upcoming government of national concord led by the NCP.

(ST)