President Al Bashir with Hassan al-Turabi (L) and Ghazi Salaheldin El Atabani (behind him) after his speech calling for a broad national dialogue, 27 January 2014 (Ebrahim Hamid-AFP)
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has called upon international organisations to refrain from funding and monitoring the general elections in Sudan, scheduled for April. The National Umma Party (NUP) announced its boycott of the elections, saying that the outcome is known in advance. The Reform Now Movement will shun the polls too. A dissident faction of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has rejected the party’s support of President Omar Al Bashir candidacy.
SPLM-N Secretary-General Yasir Arman told Dabanga that his movement has sent letters to a number of regional and international organisations, requesting them to refrain from supporting the upcoming Sudanese elections.
“We appealed in particular to the American Carter Center and former Nigerian President Oluṣẹgun Ọbasanjọ, who is a friend of the Sudanese people, not to participate in the electoral process of a regime based on absolutism, repression, and violence.”
Arman said that a broad constitutional conference is the best option for the Sudanese people to achieve peace and democracy. “The ruling National Congress Party (NCP), however, is undermining this option by freezing the National Dialogue it proposed early 2014, and organising general the elections, of which the outcome is already known. He stressed that the only alternative left for “the forces of change” is strengthening their unity in order to overthrow the regime.
“The holding of general polls in the current circumstances is an absurdity. Not a single condition for free, fair, and genuine elections, is met.”
Sarah Nugdallah, NUP Secretary-General, appealed through Dabanga to all the Sudanese to join the boycott, “because they do not represent the will of the Sudanese people”. “They will certainly be rigged, just like the fake elections of 2010.”
She described the renewed candidacy of President Omar Al Bashir as “an attempt to fool the world”. “The world, however, cannot by fooled by such tricks.”
“The holding of general polls in the current circumstances is an absurdity. Not a single condition for free, fair, and genuine elections, is met,” she emphasised.
The Reform Now Movement (RNM), a party formed by NCP dissidents under the leadership of Dr Ghazi Salaheldin El Atabani in November 2013, released a press statement on Monday, in which it also announced their boycott of the elections.
The opposition party stated that the recent constitutional amendments were completed through “improper political and legal procedures”, and that the upcoming polls lack popular support. The RNM stressed that, in cooperation with other political forces, it will oppose the elections “by all legitimate and political means”.
Masses and Sectors Movement
Dissidents of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rejected the April elections, after DUP chairman Mohamed Osman El Mirghani announced the party’s support of President Al Bashir’s candidacy. On Sunday, a DUP faction led by Sheikh Hassan Abu Sabeeb officially announced its split-off from the main party, and the formation of the Masses and Sectors Movement.
During a press conference held at his home in Omdurman, the sheikh said that the members of the new movement will withdraw their participation in the government, establish a transitional politburo, and boycott the upcoming polls.
The press conference was attended by DUP party leaders of the Khartoum districts, and party sector leaders. Abu Sabeeb, member of the DUP leadership board, and secretary-general of the Khatmiya Sufi order, stressed that they will not change their stance, “even if the DUP leader and head of the Khatmiya, Mawlana Mohamed El Mirghani, or his son, personally request us to do so”.