Sudan: 2015 Elections Will Not Be Delayed, Says Parliament Speaker

Khartoum — Sudan's parliament speaker, al-Fatih Izz al-Din, has revealed that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) will introduce a major amendment to elections law allowing adoption of proportional representation but cautioned that the 2015 general elections will not be delayed.

Sudanese check their names on lists outside a polling station to vote for Sudan's first multi-party elections in decades in Khartoum, on 11 April 2010 (AP)

The move would mean that all political forces will be represented in the parliament irrespective of the size of its constituency.

Izz al-Din, who spoke at a base conference of the NCP in the locality of UmBada on Friday, categorically dismissed any possibility for delaying the upcoming elections, saying it will not be delayed even for "one hour".

Sudan's general elections are set to be held in April 2015 but opposition parties threatened to boycott it saying the NCP holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromises to end the civil war and allow public freedoms.

Since March of last year, the Sudanese president and NCP chairman, Omer Hassan al-Bashir said that he would not seek re-election and urged the party to select a new candidate in its general convention which is expected to take place in December 2014.

However, different voices within the party objected his decision saying he is their sole candidate despite rumors over his health after throat surgery he underwent and the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The parliament speaker said the NCP approved 50% of the parliament seats to be elected through the proportional representation in order to allow all political forces to be represented in the parliament, noting that the bill will be presented to the national assembly for final approval.

"We will not delay elections for a single hour and we will not stay in power illegitimately. The ballot boxes shall decide between us and the political parties", he said.

The speaker stressed they are not using the national dialogue process as a means or tactic to get to the elections, pointing that dialogue is an end in itself.

Izz al-Din further defended the performance of the parliament, underscoring continuous efforts to put the parliamentary action on the right path.

"We laid the foundation for the parliamentary work and we will hold the parliament high in the coming period in order to enable it to fulfill its role in the best manner", he added.

The deputy general of the NCP branch in Khartoum, Kamel Mustafa, for his part, said his party conducted more than 1930 basic conference in the state, noting that 710,000 party members attended these conferences.

He expressed hope that these conferences allow them to communicate with their constituency and the Sudanese people in general, calling upon his party members to take care of the vulnerable segments in their neighborhoods.

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