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Emergency amendments pass first vote in Sudanese Parliament

December 26 - 2016 OMDURMAN
The Sudanese Parliament in Omdurman
The Sudanese Parliament in Omdurman

A controversial raft of emergency amendments, based on the National Document agreed to by Sudan’s National Dialogue and proposed by the Presidency, passed the first phase of voting in Parliament today.

The amendments, which include formation of a government of national reconciliation, creation of the position of Prime Minister in the presidential system, modifying the membership of Parliament and state legislative councils, in addition to the separation of the position of the Attorney General from the Ministry of Justice, were approved with 378 votes in favour, five against, and three abstentions.

The amendments will now be forwarded for final approval. According to Badria Suleiman, chairperson of the Emergency Constitutional Amendments Committee in Sudan, the phase of general features will be finally passed on Thursday.

On Sunday, Abulgasim Burtom, Chairman of the Alliance of Independent MPs, said in a press conference that the Alliance refuse the amendments “which represent political settlements that do not represent the opinion of the people, and encroach on the powers of the National Assembly, by granting the Council of States the right to summon the federal Ministers and hold them accountable”.

Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party have described the recent constitutional amendments by the government before the National Assembly as “treason for dialogue commitment” and “a setback for all the outputs of the dialogue”, and threatened to quit the dialogue.

Several opposition parties still refuse to join the National Dialogue. Last week, the leader of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) emphasised that the Movement will not participate in any political dialogue with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

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