NCP dissidents announce formation of new political party in Sudan
National Congress Party (NCP) signatories to a memorandum criticising the crackdown on protests sparked by price increases in September have announced the formation of a new political party.
The dissidents’ move was expected as it comes two days after an internal NCP investigation committee, established by President Omar Al Bashir, recommended the dismissal of three “leading reformers”, former presidential advisor Ghazi Salaheldin Atabani, former Sports minister Hassan Osman Rizig, and member of Parliament, Fadlallah Ahmed Abdallah, as well as the suspension of nine other signatories.
Abdallah announced on Saturday that he, Rizig and Atabani had "decided to establish a new party, carrying the hopes of the Sudanese people,” adding that “the name and structure of the new organisation will be revealed within one week.”
Atabani has harshly criticised the party, calling it a “closed security party”. He described the actions taken against them as “arbitrary and illegal”, noting that the NCP leadership does not accept reform. “It even does not accept initiatives proposed by its own members.”
All of the more than 30 signatories to the memorandum will join the new political party. They consider the recommendation of the NCP investigation committee to dismiss and suspend them “a bullet of mercy” to the reform trend inside the party.
The dissidents' move constitutes the second major split in the ruling NCP since Hassan El Turabi formed the Popular Congress Party in 1999.
The Spokesperson for the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), Kamal Omar, has called on the NCP dissidents to scrutinise the period of their participation in the government and the behaviour of the regime - which led to the separation of South Sudan.
He appealed to all NCP members to “free themselves from the party, because the complete collapse of the regime is due,” explaining that internal cracks already appeared in 2012, when the former head of the National Intelligence and Security of Sudan, Salah Gosh, and army officer “Wad Ibrahim” were arrested on charges of a coup attempt.
Related: Sudanese protest in USA, Europe as Khartoum investigates critics (5 October 2013)
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