February 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the main opposition party in Sudan, Sadiq Al-Mahdi said the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) is crumbling but he warned however against calls to topple it by the use of arms.
Sadiq Al-Mahdi, leader of the Umma National Party (UNP) calls to hold a national political conference to settle the ongoing conflicts and to set the basis of a democratic regime. Following what, he suggests to establish an all-party parliament to prepare a new constitution and to form an interim cabinet.
Speaking to the press on Monday Mahdi explained why the opposition political parties disagree with the rebel groups on use of violence to bring down the regime of Omer Al-Bashir.
“Any attempt to change the regime (coup d’état or revolutionary) would give the government, if it fails, a new incentive to speak about defence of the nation, its interests and rights”, he said.
He went further to say “if it (the change) succeeds , the other forces (who did not took part in the armed attempt) will be excluded”, stressing that historically all those who achieved regime change through force or a coup had never associated others with them.
The UNP and other opposition parties inside the country engaged a dialogue with the rebel groups members of the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF) in order to set out a programme for the future of the country and to end the ongoing armed conflicts.
However, the opposition dismissed a document released from the Ugandan capital Kampala on 5 January “New Dawn Charter” because it calls to use arms to topple the regime and to establish a secular state in Sudan.
The opposition said the charter is a “draft agreement” and called for more talks with the rebels on the other side who formed a committee to dialogue with the political parties and to convince more political and civil society groups to join the deal.
Al-Mahdi criticised SRF forces saying they committed faults in the Kampala agreement and thus gave the regime a strong boost, but the latter has not benefited much from it, given the awareness of the political forces, he added.
Nonetheless, the opposition leader vowed to keep discussions with the armed groups to end the war and reach peaceful settlement. He further rejected the government threats against the political parties if they do not stop their dialogue with the rebels.
The UNP leader urged, on the other hand, to reform the structure of the opposition “National Consensus Forces”, to review its programmes and to elect a new “neutral leadership”, as he said.
He underlined that its name “National Consensus” does not reflect the reality of the opposition coalition.
The opposition forces that all say opposed to the use of arms to topple the regime, disagree on the separation between religion and politics after the fall of the regime, they also diverge on the dialogue with the regime and other issues.
Al-Mahdi who returned from White Nile state on the border with South Sudan also said he plans to launch an initiative to settle the disputes with the new southern neighbour and accused the ruling NCP of seeking to take advantage from the current crisis with Juba and to mobilise popular support.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45578
January 26, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Umma National Party (UNP), Sadiq Al-Mahdi has reiterated his criticism to a political agreement agreed by the opposition and rebels earlier this month saying it is “full of mistakes”.
Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (Reuters)
Representatives of the forces of opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF), the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) signed the New Dawn charter in Kampala on 5 January, acknowledging toppling the regime through a combination of peaceful and armed struggle.
The UNP and Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan Al-Turabi announced their reservations. The Umma calls for a comprehensive national process including the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the rebel groups besides the opposition parties, while the Islamist opposition party reiterated its commitment to an Islamic state in Sudan.
During a visit to the White Nile state last Friday, Al-Mahdi reaffirmed his opposition to the use of arms to topple the regime pointing out that his party calls for regime reform not regime change.
“We are not against the future of Sudan, and there is no room for the self-determination, but we are for a Sudan of equality in power and wealth (sharing)”, further said the religious leader of Al-Ansar brotherhood, in his Friday sermon at the mosque of Al-Emarrabie town in the White Nile.
The opposition NCF parties including the UNP announced last week however they will continue to negotiate with the rebel groups on the political charter, stressing they aim to preserve Sudan’s territorial integrity and to reach a consensus on national issues.
The ruling NCP and Sudanese government attacked the opposition parties for negotiating the charter with the rebel groups. Some officials threatened to ban them saying they encourage the use of arms to topple the regime.
The Sudanese officials further rejected the reservations the opposition announced describing it as “a tactical position”.
Al-Mahdi stressed that his party will continue to dialogue with all the parties and warned that the government’s stubbornness would lead to protests against the regime in the street.
The opposition leader underscored the good relations between the White Nile state and its neighbouring states in South Sudan. He warned that the state will be heavily affected in case of war between the two countries.
He called Khartoum and Juba to adopt new policies in resolving their problems, affirming Khartoum’s inability to resolve the outstanding issues with the South, because of the many differences. He also pointed out to how foreign interventions have contributed to raising the dispute.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45311
January 7, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese National Umma Party (NUP) led by former Prime Minister Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi expressed reservations on the “New Dawn” charter signed with other opposition parties and rebel groups over the weekend.
Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, head of the Umma Party, the country’s largest opposition party (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The NUP was one of the signatories to the highly controversial accord which explicitly calls for toppling the regime and sets a vision for a new system that succeeds the government currently dominated by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
In a statement issued on Monday the NUP said that the politburo met to review the agreement and welcomed the comprehensive meeting for political powers to seal a deal that would bring about fair comprehensive peace and democratic transformation.
But the largest Sudanese opposition party said it rejects any clauses negatively impacting the country’s unity stressing that it does not support undermining the state but rather restructuring the current institutions.
The NUP also said it does not support resorting to violence or garnering external support for opposition goals.
The statement described the charter as “saggy” and “contradictory” requiring continuing dialogue with other political forces “to unify national vision for the new system desired”.
The Sudanese government and the ruling NCP slammed the accord describing it as an attempt to rid the country of its Islamic values and seeking to establish a secular state.
In recent years the NUP, despite being nominally being part of the opposition, has been seen as warming up in recent years to the regime led by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.
Al-Mahdi has held several meetings with top government officials including Bashir and other senior NCP figures.
The party’s leader has publicly criticized other opposition forces in several instances and last summer said the NUP does not endorse anti-government demonstrations that took place to protests austerity measures.
Furthermore, Al-Mahdi’s son Abdel-Rahman has been appointed as presidential assistant to Bashir drawing widespread dismay within the party’s base.
But the ex-PM insisted that this was his son’s own decision and that he does not represent the party in this move.
He has insisted that his goal is to hold a constitutional conference that brings all political powers including the ruling party and rebel groups together to agree on the way the country should be ruled. The NCP rejects this proposal.
Last year some members of the NUP’s politburo privately told Sudan Tribune they believe al-Mahdi has a secret pact with the NCP by which he would oppose the idea of regime change.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45109