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Sudan lawyer: Sovereignty Council has no right to call for elections

December 29 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Satee El Haj, lawyer and leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change (alrakoba.net)
Satee El Haj, lawyer and leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change (alrakoba.net)

Sudan’s Sovereignty Council is not authorised to order the start of procedures for general elections, says lawyer Satee El Haj. He expects a consensus will be reached soon concerning a solution for the current political impasse. On Monday, the National Movement Forces alliance, headed by Dr El Tijani Sese, was launched in Khartoum.

According to Satee El Haj, a leading member of the Sudanese Nasserist Party and of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) any further delay in reaching an agreement between the political forces to move forward will have very dire consequences for the country.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga’s Sudan Today, the lawyer said that “we need to reach solutions and a consensus as soon as possible, hopefully within a week to 10 days - not more. Otherwise, the consequences will be dire and will explode somewhere”.

He expressed his optimism about reaching a consensus “because everyone fears great risks if we don’t,” and mentioned the position papers on a way out for the current political crisis that were recently presented by the two FFC factions, and the roadmap announced by the National Umma Party (NUP).

Zeinab El Sadig El Mahdi, member of the NUP Political Bureau, explained in a press conference in Omdurman on Monday that the most important issues in the roadmap concern the adjustment of the Constitutional Document, defining a framework for partnership with the military, and the review of certain points of the Juba Peace Agreement that was signed by the Sudanese Government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in October last year.  

Satee El Haj said he is convinced that “a coherent document that will be the reference for the civil forces and the next government, will be reached soon if the ongoing endeavours succeed. In this way, Abdallah Hamdok does not need to resign and can continue his work as prime minister until the elections are held in mid-2023.”

In case such an agreement will not be reached, he expects the worst for the country. “What can one expect of a country full of armies? There are at least 6.000 fighters in Khartoum, other than the [paramilitary] Rapid Support Forces.”

Elections

Regarding the announcement of Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, President of the Sovereignty Council, to already start preparations for the 2023 general elections, El Haj said that the Sovereignty Council “is a false, unconstitutional institution which is not authorised to order the start of electoral procedures, while basic conditions such as convening a Constitutional Conference, development of a new Electoral Law, and the holding of a population census, have yet to be completed”.

He warned that “If the requirements of the transitional period are not completed and a good climate has not been created, then the elections will not express the hopes and aspirations of our people concerning a free and democratic Sudan”.

“All proposals of the political forces circulating these days request the re-formation of this false Sovereignty Council in accordance with the Constitutional Document, as its decisions are fictitious and not worth attention because the current Council is rejected by the Sudanese people.”

'The Sovereignty Council is not authorised to order the start of electoral procedures, while basic conditions as a Constitutional Conference, a new Electoral Law, and a population census have yet to be completed' - Satee El Haj

On Monday evening, the Sovereignty Council decided on the start of the procedures for the general elections, scheduled to be held in July 2023. In a press statement, the Council announced “the initiation of practical procedures for the upcoming elections which will lead to the consolidation of the democratic transition in the country”.

New alliance

On Monday as well, the National Movement Forces was launched in Khartoum.

The new political alliance, chaired by the former head of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr El Tijani Sese, includes the Nidaa (Call) National Programme headed by Sese, Sudan of Justice headed by Farah El Agar, the National Nation parties, the mainstream Democratic Union, the Beja Congress, the Coordination of Dismissed Government Employees, and the National Front for Change - set up by dissidents of the National Congress Party of ousted President Omar Al Bashir.

The National Movement Forces aims “to exchange views on the political crisis suffocating Sudan, discuss the current political situation and the dangers of blatant foreign interference targeting the country's unity, the increase in conflicts and civil wars in the regions, the collapse of public services, and the deterioration of people's living conditions”.

 


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