October 2, 2009 (LONDON) – The Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) formally notified the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) that it will not attend its convention, state media reported.
The NCP’s political bureau officer Mandoor Al-Mahdi said that they have received a letter from the office of Salva Kiir.
Al-Mahdi said that the SPLM had formed a delegation consisting of Secretary General Pagan Amum and his deputy Yasir Arman and a third person but that they could not catch a flight on time for the convention.
The NCP official dismissed speculations that his party deliberately did not want the SPLM to take part in his convention saying that democracy rules entertain opposing views.
Relations between the two parties have been strained over SPLM’s hosting of a conference that included the major opposition parties such as the Umma National Party led by former Prime Minister Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, Sudanese Communist Party headed by Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud and Popular Congress Part (PCP) led by former parliament speaker Hassan Al-Turabi.
The NCP refused to take part in it saying it was not consulted in its agenda crafting and accused the participants of seeking to form an alliance to topple it.
However, the coordinator for the conference Mubarak Al-Fadil denied the claim saying that he has persistently reached out to the NCP to get them involved but they ignored his initiatives and letters.
The Sudanese media and television launched a fierce and intensive campaign against the participants and the SPLM throughout the conference days.
Observers say that the NCP is getting nervous about the possibility of an alliance between opposition parties thinking it will weaken its grip in power ahead of the national elections scheduled for April 2010.