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'Security apparatus forced people to form NCP office in Darfur': activists

December 18 - 2018 MELLIT
President Omar Al Bashir during his visit to Kass, South Darfur, in December 2018 (Suna)
President Omar Al Bashir during his visit to Kass, South Darfur, in December 2018 (Suna)

Activists reported that the security apparatus in Mellit in North Darfur have forced residents in a district to form an office for the ruling party, instead of the popular committee that has been elected by the district.

Activists in Mellit said that members of the local National Congress Party (NCP) and a force of the security apparatus NISS have forced residents of El Rahma district to compel all attendees to commit loyalty and obedience to the NCP.

The unprecedented order by the director of the NISS in Mellit locality is for the residents to form an office for the NCP – it was the popular committee, however, which was elected by people in El Rahma district.

Activists informed Radio Dabanga that the order has sparked strong condemnation. “The NCP and the security apparatus insist on applying this model forcefully onto the residents of El Rahma and on the rest of Mellit in the coming days, in preparation for the elections of 2020,” one of them told Radio Dabanga.

Elections

A new Electoral Act, allowing NCP leader President Omar Al Bashir to stand for another presidential term, is expected to be approved despite the walk-out by more than 100 Members of Parliament in a parliamentary session in late November. The next week parties in the Sudanese Parliament presented 294 signatures to the Speaker of Parliament to amend article 57 of the country’s Constitution of 2005, regarding the duration of the presidential term.

Al Bashir has been in power since 1989 after a military coup on an elected government. “In 2020, there will be a new president and I will be an ex-president, God willing,” he told the BBC in an interview in April 2016. His statements then repeated his declared intention to step down in 2015. But his NCP insisted he continued in office, which he did after the elections that resulted in the favour of the ruling party.

On August 9, however, the ruling National Congress Party appointed President Omar Al Bashir as its presidential candidate in the 2020 election, in spite of the country’s constitution restriction to two terms. The nomination therefore requires constitutional amendments.


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