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Sudan professionals: Leaked draft of Constitutional Doc ‘just junta proposals’

July 17 - 2019 KHARTOUM

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said that a leaked draft of the Constitutional Document reflects the military junta’s proposals and has “nothing to do with the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC formerly known as the Alliance for Freedom and Change)”. The SPA stresses that it will not sign any agreement that does not satisfy the Sudanese people or achieve the objectives of the revolution.

Ismail El Taj, a leading member of the Association, told a news conference in Khartoum on Tuesday that the military junta has added some points to the document. The FFC were unanimous in rejecting the absolute immunity contained in the document, as well as other remarks concerning the powers of the Sovereign Council.

Among the main points of disagreement between the FFC and the junta is the “absolute immunity” that the TMC wants to be granted to the members of the TMC throughout the three-year transitional period.

El Taj said that the text about absolute immunity destroys the constitutional document, wastes rights, and allows impunity.

El Taj called for procedural restriction of the immunities and the election of the Chief Justice through the Judges Club, pointing to the terrible deterioration of the judiciary during the former regime that was subjected to politicisation and explained that most of the judges of the Supreme Court were members of the National Congress Party, headed by Omar Al Bashir.

The meeting on Tuesday would discuss the draft Constitutional Document. El Taj expected a breakthrough in case the military junta retreat from the issue of immunity.

Opposition leader

The opposition leader said the Sudanese Professionals Association agreed with the political structure, divided into three powers, the Sovereign Council, the Cabinet and the Parliament, pointing out that it is in line with the African mediation.

He noted that their remarks were limited to the need for African support and the Human Rights Council for an independent commission of inquiry into the violence used during the break-up of the sit-in in front of the army command on June 3.

The Sudanese Professionals Association rejects the extension of the State of Emergency for three months and called on the military junta to rescind the decision.

“There is no need to extend the state of emergency," Ismail al-Taj, leader of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, told a news conference on Tuesday, adding that they are restricting freedoms and contrary to the basic rights of citizens.

The Military Council has not provided any substantive reasons for the extension of the emergency.

He considered peaceful processions and demonstrations a guaranteed right and a legitimate expression of the demands of citizens to expedite the implementation of their demands after delaying the military junta and slowing down in the handover of power

El Taj stressed that the Addis Ababa meetings are aimed at bringing together the various stances of the FFC members, expanding the powers of civil authority, and consultation in order to reach a stage that ensures the participation of all and emphasises the importance of war and peace issues.

He pointed out that there are hopeful indicators to reach an agreement for building the nation in the transitional period.

He confirmed the meeting of the delegation of the Sudanese Professionals Association with the US envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth. Describing it as a good opportunity to exchange views and review the obstacles to the agreement and considered it a positive meeting that may help bridge the gap with the military junta.

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