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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudan’s opposition dialogue parties form a new alliance

August 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese opposition parties participating in the national dialogue have formed a new alliance under the name of the National Forces Alliance (NFA) and urged president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to stand at the same distance from opposition and government parties.

The leading figure at the Reform Now Party (RNP), Hassan Rizq, in a press on Monday said the new alliance is comprised of 18 political parties participating in the national dialogue, pointing they agreed that a framework agreement with the government must include formation of “special-purpose government” for two years in order to implement the dialogue’s outcome.

He pointed the new alliance would only be obliged to elections date and its administrative and procedural arrangements if it was agreed upon on the national dialogue.

Rizq accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of using elections as a tool to threaten the opposition parties, saying they don’t recognise the recent appointments of the National Elections Commission (NEC) members or the final election schedules.

He described the NEC as “zero to the left”, demanding formation of an administratively and financially independent elections commission.

The NEC is expected to announce the final election schedules in a press conference on Wednesday.

Sudan’s general elections are set to be held in April 2015 but opposition parties threatened to boycott it, saying NCP holds absolute control over power and refuse to make any compromise to end the civil war and allow public liberties.

The RNP leading figure further accused unnamed parties of obstructing the national dialogue, saying the NCP leaders understand dialogue as a process aimed at accommodating opposition while the opposition think of it as means to establish a just and democratic state.

He demanded president Bashir to stand at the same distance from the opposition and the government parties, saying “they [NCP] want to engage us in dialogue and then fool us”.

The chairman of the Just Peace Forum (JPF), al-Tayeb Mustafa, for his part, said that the leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan al-Turabi, conveyed to him his party’s rejection for the formation of the new opposition alliance, stressing the PCP will not be part of it.

He said if the NCP continues to refuse the transitional government, the opposition will approve a unified position and stop the dialogue process.

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Nasserite Socialist Party (NSP) and member of the dialogue committee known as 7+7, Mustafa Mahmoud, for his part, accused president Bashir of being non-neutral, saying he chairs the committee meetings as a chairman of the NCP and adopts the latter’s position.

He asserted they wouldn’t accept any dialogue which does not lead to formation of a transitional government, saying they agreed with the government on many issues. However, he declined to elaborate on these issues, saying they vowed not to reveal them.

Mahmoud further pointed to slow pace of implementing dialogue’s requirements.

Reliable sources from opposition parties in the 7+7 committee told Sudan Tribune that the NCP expressed reservation on issues of the transitional government and review of elections law while opposition forces demand to discuss these issues before the 2015 elections.

Last January, Bashir called on political parties and rebel groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalising national identity.

He also held a political roundtable in Khartoum last April with the participation of 83 political parties.

The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, asking the government to respond first to its conditions.

Sudan’s opposition parties propose forming a transitional government and holding a national conference with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution for the conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.

The interim government, in accordance with the opposition platform, would organise general elections once a political agreement on constitutional matters is reached, inaugurating a new democratic regime.

The NCP rejects this proposal saying opposition parties must simply prepare for the 2015 elections and that rebels should sign first peace accords before to join the political process.

(ST)