January 2, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – A senior official of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) denounced on Wednesday the withdrawal of a number of parties from the national dialogue and accused it of inciting the army to overthrow the regime.
- NCP Political Secretary Abdel Rahman al-Khidir (SUNA Photo)
Twenty-two parties that participated in the dialogue process in 2016 organized themselves in a coalition called the National Front for Change (NFC) headed by Ghazi Salah al-Din, and joined by the Umma Party led by Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi announced on Tuesday their solidarity with the nationwide protests condemning the deteriorating economic conditions before to demand al-Bashir to step down.
The NFC, which proposed a peaceful transition, called on al-Bashir to step down and transfer power to a collegial presidency called the Sovereignty Council. Also, they called on the Sudanese army to protect the peaceful protests “from those that do not hesitate to shed blood and kill innocent citizens”.
In a bid to retake the initiative from the opposition groups and break the silence of ruling party officials during the first 10 days of the protests, the head of the NCP Political Sector held a press conference flanked with several officials from the other groups participating in the government.
Abdel Rahman al-Khider slammed the memo of the NFC group saying what the group has done is “a blow to the national dialogue project and an exit from the National Document in an immoral manner”.
Al-Khider pointed out that what is stated in the document is “inciting the armed forces against the dialogue (forces) and the constitution and calling for a coup against all of them, and this is unacceptable.
He further disclosed that a meeting held on Wednesday at a level closer to the General Assembly of the Dialogue forces lasted for three hours to discuss the move of those parties and recommended to the Higher Coordinating Committee of the National Dialogue to take a decision on this group.
The opposition groups including the Sudan Call and the National Consensus Forces welcomed the memo the national dialogue defectors addressed to President al-Bashir. However, they called for a regime change instead of the power transfer.
The NCP political official warned against exploiting popular protests to implement political agenda away from the main reasons for the difficult economic conditions that triggered the demonstrations. He further said the government is working on a package of measures that began to bear fruit.
Al-Khider stressed that the number of dissidents from the national dialogue does not exceed eight parties and not 22 as reported.
“We examined this in the secretariat of the dialogue and found that only 10 of them signed the National Document (which includes the conclusions of the process) and two of them have now drawn back and I can say that only 8 parties can say that they have withdrawn and signed the document. The rest, in our point of view, represent only themselves.”
The anti-government protests sparked first in Atbara in River Nile State in north-eastern Sudan and gradually engulfed the whole county for the first time in the modern history of Sudan.
The opposition Sudan Call, National Consensus Forces and the Unionist Gathering, as well as the Sudanese Professional Association, signed a declaration on 1 January to show their unity and create the suitable conditions for the continuation of the protests and overthrow the regime.