21 October 2012

South Sudan: Sudan's VP Says Opposition Should Participate in New Constitution

Khartoum — Sudanese vice president reaffirmed the role of Umma National Party (UNP) in the ongoing efforts to prepare a new constitution in the country after the secession of south Sudan.

Al-Haj Adam Youssef paid a visit to the former prime minister and leader of the opposition Umma Party on Sunday, following a press conference the later held on Saturday where he said they are determined to topple the regime even if the UNP is not currently prepared to do that.

Speaking to reporters outside Al-Mahdi's house in Omdurman following the meeting, Al-Haj expressed hope that all the political forces participate in the elaboration of the new constitution in order to have a text reflecting a united vision and accepted by all the Sudanese.

National Congress Party spokesperson, Badr Al-Din Ahmed Ibrahim said the meeting comes in the context of continued consultations between the two parties on key issues raised in the country such as the constitution and peace agreements.

Al-Haj said he informed Al-Mahdi about the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Since the secession of South Sudan, President Al-Bashir pledged that Sudan would have an Islamic constitution.

UMP calls to hold a conference including all the political forces and rebel groups to discuss the new constitution but also solutions to the different conflicts in the country.

The opposition party, which says in favour of a liberal and democratic fundamental law where the religion intervenes only on issues related the personal status, says the new constitution should be prepared in an healthy atmosphere where the freedom of expressed is guaranteed to all .

The vice president told reporters that Al-Mahdi pledged to send him a written message to explain the UNP's position on the issues he raised with him.

The Umma party is accused by the other opposition forces of holding an ambiguous position as it preaches for dialogue with the regime and criticises rebel groups who speak about the use of violence to topple the regime.

Explaining his position on this point, Sadiq Al-Mahdi said on Saturday that "there are those who want to fight. We do not prevent them but we will not stand by them."

He went further to says that the rebels actually obstruct the efforts to overthrow the regime by civil disobedience. Because people fear if they take the street, the rebels will attack towns and fighting take place in the stress of the cities.

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