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NUP youth blast party leader Al-Mahdi

October 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Youth members of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) in Sudan have strongly criticized party leader Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, blaming his opaque positions for the debilitation of the party and strengthening of the regime.

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FILE PHOTO - NUP leader Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi speaking to reporters following a meeting with President Al-Bashir who is standing behind

In a statement issued on Tuesday, NUP’s youth sector accused Al-Mahdi of neglecting and subjugating party members until the NUP became a toothless entity. The statement attributed the state of weakness, fragmentation, discord and loss of political direction in the NUP to Al-Mahdi’s “gray” positions.

These positions, according to the statement, indirectly contributed to the weakening of the opposition and strengthening of the regime. “Al-Mahdi’s role even went beyond that after he started providing prescriptions and advices to the regime in big and small manners until the NUP became accused of being the stealth partner of the [ruling] National Congress Party” the statement read.

Al-Mahdi has managed on more than one occasion to alienate many of NUP allies in the National Consensus Forces (NCF) by advocating positions seen as soft by regime change proponents, including his repeated warnings against violent attempts to change the regime as well as his hints at possible change within the ruling NCP.

The statement of the youth sector is yet another confirmation of the widespread dissatisfaction among NUP members over Al-Mahdi’s style of leadership and the perception of his cozy relationship with the NCP.

The NUP officially refused to join the government that the NCP formed last year but Al-Mahdi’s son Abdel Rahman was appointed as an adviser to President Omer Al-Bashir, fueling speculations that Al-Mahdi is trying to straddle the opposition and the NCP.