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Sudanese Communist Party rejects Agar call for participation in 2020 elections

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Sudanese Communist Party supporters hold flags as they arrive to the Friendship Hall in Khartoum to attend the SCP 6th convention on 31 July 2016 (ST Photo)

December 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) has rejected a call of the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N Agar) to consider participation in the 2020 elections.

In a letter recently sent to the opposition groups, the SPLM-N Agar leader, Malik Agar, called to reach a joint political agenda for change linking the upcoming elections to a just peace and democratic transition in the country.

On Sunday, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) welcomed Agar call, describing it as a real shift in the positions of the armed opposition regarding the peaceful transformation of power.

However, the SCP spokesperson Ali Saeed told his party’s mouthpiece Al-Midan the firm position of the SCP is that change in Sudan must be achieved through the popular uprising.

He described the call to participate in the upcoming elections as “absurd”, saying the regime neither recognizes the other nor it believes in the peaceful transformation of power and isn’t ready to abandon power.

Saeed added the opposition gave the regime a chance to prove itself during the transitional period which followed the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), saying, however, the latter did everything possible to undermine the democratic transformation and rig the elections.

“If the regime did this before years, how come we call to participate in the elections while the regime is at its weakest positions and it enacted repressive laws against freedoms and continues to confiscate the newspapers and restricts activities of the political parties and movement of its members,” he added.

The spokesperson stressed the regime has no desire to abandon power because it committed significant crimes against the people and the homeland and wouldn’t accept any political transformation involving accountability.

“The regime is clinging to power and can’t be defeated through elections because the repressive laws remain in place and would allow it to do everything possible to win the elections,” he said.

EASTERN SUDAN GROUP DIVIDED

Also, the United Popular Front for Liberation and Justice (UPFLJ) leader Zeinab Kabashi issued a statement rejecting Agar call to discuss the participation in 2020 elections. But her deputy Osama Saeed support the initiative.

"We in the United Popular Front declare our clear and unequivocal rejection of calls to participate in the elections, which violate the most basic conditions, and requirements under this regime, which does not keep a covenant and does not observe a charter," said Kabashi.

Kabashi is also a leading member of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front led by Malik Agar. However, her deputy Osama Saeed who is also SRF spokesperson on Sunday in an opinion article extended to Sudan Tribune Arabic section announced his support for the participation in the elections.

Saeed has pleaded that Agar believes that this regime should be resisted and replaced by a democratic regime, adding that he called to discuss the means to achieve this change.

"It is not an invitation to participate in the elections or to recognize it, as some would think. The defective laws and amend what he wants of the Constitution and do what he wants to remain in power.

"In fact, the regime benefits from the (current) negative opposition, passes the defective laws, amends what it wants from the constitution, and does what it wants to remain in power," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Khalid Omer told Sudan Tribune that Agar initiative was laid out to the Sudan Call forces and it would be discussed during the first meeting of the alliance.

It was purported that the SCoP is also divided over Agar’s call to mull over the opposition participation in 2020 elections.

The Sudanese opposition forces used to boycott the electoral process in the country since the 1989 coup d’état, denouncing the lack of peace, and democratic environment. The rejection of electoral process allowed the regime to divide the opposition and attract some forces.

While the political process brokered by the African Union is deadlocked, various political and civil society groups call to amend the constitution to re-elect the ICC-wanted president for a third term in the 2020 elections.

Several opposition groups such as the National Consensus Forces (NCF) which includes the SCP and the Broad National Front (BNF) reject any negotiated solution with the ruling NCP and insist on the need to eradicate al-Bashir’s regime through the popular uprising.

But, other political forces from the opposition umbrella Sudan Call such as the National Umma Party of Sadiq al-Mahdi back Agar’s implicit call to participate in the elections saying it would create a new dynamic enabling the political forces to mobilise the street and challenge the regime.

(ST)