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Sudan Call campaign against Al Bashir candidacy in 2020 election

September 5 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Sheikh Abdallah Azrag Teiba, head of the Sudanese branch of the Qadiriya Sufi order (alrakoba.net)
Sheikh Abdallah Azrag Teiba, head of the Sudanese branch of the Qadiriya Sufi order (alrakoba.net)

Sudanese opposition groups allied in the Sudan Call will campaign against the proposed constitutional amendments that will allow the nomination of President Al Bashir for another term.

The president of the Sudanese Congress Party and head of the Sudan Call members in Sudan, Omar El Digeir, announced after a meeting of the opposition on Tuesday that they will launch a campaign next week against constitutional amendments aimed at allowing Al Bashir to be elected for a third presidential term.

“This campaign will not only oppose the re-election of Al Bashir, but target the entire National Salvation Regime which is based on tyranny, corruption, and misery policies that have cause all this suffering of the Sudanese people.”

He described the government's policies as “a major failure that has plunged the country into a whirlpool of crises, including the current disaster”.

On August 9, 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.

El Digeir further has expressed the Sudan Call forces’ appreciation of “the national role” played by Sheikh Abdallah Azrag Teiba, head of the Sudanese branch of the Qadiriya Sufi order.

Teiba has been a strong campaigner against the government led by the National Congress Party (NCP) for years. The sheikh stated at the Sudan Call meeting that he will not support Al Bashir's candidacy nor participate in the 2020 election.

The sheikh told the press in Khartoum on Tuesday that the meeting that morning discussed a revival of the Teiba Charter, signed by a number of opposition groups in Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, in October 2014.

In the charter, the opposition parties emphasise the importance of restoring freedoms and democracy by a system of decentralised governance, putting the interest of the Sudanese population as a priority. The signatories as well rejected the 2015 election, “solely arranged by the ruling NCP without the participation of the other parties”.

Teiba explained that in the charter, “We have presented them [the ruling party, RD] an initiative that addresses the crisis, both peacefully and militarily, in order to agree on peaceful solutions that will end the conflicts and wars in the country, the realisation of national unity and democratisation, the recognition of intellectual, political and cultural pluralism, revision of the federal system and restructuring of governance, and the implementation of an economic programme that will fight corruption and put a halt to the policies of impoverishment”.

El Digeir, the chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party commented that Teiba’s proposal for a political solution “collides with the lack of will of the regime to conduct a serious dialogue leading to a real change”.

Regime change

The Sudan Call, a two-page political communiqué calling for regime-change and democracy, was signed by representatives of the National Umma Party (NUP), the National Consensus Forces (a coalition of opposition parties), the Civil Society Initiative, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (an alliance of the main armed movements), in Addis Ababa on December 3, 2014. Other Sudanese opposition groups and parties joined them in the following year.

After signing the Sudan Call document, the chairmen of the NCF and the Civil Society Initiative, and the legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North were detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) upon their return to Khartoum three days later. They were released on April 9, 2015, a few days before the general election would begin in the country.

The chairman of the NUP, El Sadig El Mahdi, remained abroad in a self-imposed exile until January 26, 2017. On his return to Sudan, he was welcomed by a huge crowd of supporters.

In March this year, President Al Bashir denounced “the participation of any political party authorised to work inside the country that has in an alliance with an armed faction. This is not allowed by the law, it is not possible to combine military activity and political action.”

Less than a month later, the NISS filed an official complaint against El Mahdi, who was abroad at the time. In the end of June, authorities at the Cairo airport denied the NUP leader access to the country where he resides.


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