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Nugud’s death reignites conflict of generations within Sudan’s communist party

March 26, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The death of the secretary-general of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Mohammed Ibrahim Nugud, has given rise to a renewed scramble between the party’s generations over his successor, according to multiple sources.

A man stands in front of Nugud’s grave in Khartoum (REUTERS)

Sources told Sudan Tribune that political rankling within the SCP has re-surfaced after Nugud, who served in his position since 1971, died on Tuesday this week following a long struggle with illness.

The genesis of the SCP’s internal squabbles can be traced back to the party’s fifth general congress in January 2009, when Nugud, then aged 80, and majority of the long serving members of the party’s central committee were re-elected to the displeasure of great segments of youth who sought reforms and a change of blood.

According to Sudan Tribune’s sources, the party’s young members who stepped away since the general-congress have now returned to the fold and renewed their efforts to put Al-Shafi Khidir, a leading member of the SCP, in Nugud’s place.

But the party’s “old guards”, as sources put it, are seeking to elect the central committee’s veteran member, Suliman Hamid, to succeed Nugud.

Meanwhile, some local newspapers in Khartoum reported on Monday that the SCP’s central committee had called for an emergency meeting to elect a temporary successor of Nugud until the party holds its sixth general-congress.

However, a senior member of the SCP’s central committee, Sidiq Youssef, dismissed these reports as “baseless.”

Youssef revealed that he had proposed that the election of a new secretary-general be postponed until the party holds its next general congress which is slated for next year.

The once-powerful SCP has been weakened in recent years by internal rivalry and resistance to change, which was manifested in the outcome of the fifth general congress.

Many of the party’s young members are unhappy with what they privately describe as the domination of the old guard. Others have even left the party to join or establish new anti-government youth groups.

(ST)