May 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s military council on Tuesday expressed reservations on the transitional institutions proposed by the opposition forces saying they may call for early elections within six months.
- Shams al-Din Kabbashi, spokesperson of the Transitional Military Council on 7 May 2019 (Photo SUNA)
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) spokesperson Shams al-Din Kabbashi held a press conference on Tuesday to announce they handed over a response to the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change over their proposals about the structures of the transitional government institutions and their powers.
The exercise was supposed to be in line with the ongoing discussions to hand over power to civilians as the military council admitted that the freedom and change forces are their partner and main interlocutor in this process.
However, Kabbashi told reporters that the document omitted to mention the source of legislation and fix the duration of the transitional period for four years.
“We have seen that Islamic law, customs and traditions in the Republic of Sudan are the source of legislation. Further, we believe that (the transitional period) is not necessary for more than two years,” he said.
The military spokesperson pointed out that the document granted the right to declare a state of emergency to the Council of Ministers, while “this measure is a sovereign matter,” he stressed.
The document ignored the role of other political forces that participated in the change, and ignored even the role of the military junta, he further said.
Last week, the two sides failed to agree on the composition of the sovereignty council, as the military said they want the majority in this collegial presidency and also spoke about its central role in the transitional governance system under discussion.
This position pushed the opposition groups to propose to stop talks on the composition of the council and other institutions to agree first on the structures and their powers.
The military official told reporters that they have no intention to take to keep power for them stressing that all their approach is motivated only by the desire to preserve Sudan’s security and achieving democratic transition in Sudan.
However and against all odds, Kabbashi said the military council may call for early elections if negotiations with political forces on the structure and details of the transitional government come to a deadlock.
“We have the option of calling for early elections within six months,” he said, pointing out that the presence of armed forces in the scene during this stage is important to preserve the revolution.
The statement was perceived as provocative, and source of escalation in the tumulus discussions between the two sides. Also, for many, it has confirmed the impression that the military council is seeking to open new fronts with the revolutionary forces in a bid to stall the process.
An opposition official told Sudan Tribune that any talk of early elections would not be acceptable given the former regime’s continued control of the country’s structures one month after the removal of its head Omer al-Bashir.
“Any talk about elections less than two years means opening the door wide to the return of the National Congress Party and the whole former regime again because they still control everything,” said the opposition figure who preferred anonymity.
For his part, Khalid Omer the deputy leader of the Sudanese Congress Party told the sit-inners outside the army headquarters that the statements of the military spokesperson are not serious.
Omer stressed that the talks with the military junta deal only with the handover of power. “The sources of legislation are something that will determine the Sudanese people in the future,” he added.
The opposition forces are expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday.