5 December 2018

Sudan: 33 Parties Call for Amendment of Sudan Constitution

Photo: Radio Dabanga
Al-Bashir addresses a mass public rally in Nyala (file photo).

Omdurman — Parties in the Sudanese Parliament have presented 294 signatures to the Speaker of Parliament, Ibrahim Omar to amend article 57 of the country's Constitution of 2005 regarding the duration of the presidential term, to be open without specifying more than one term, as well as the amendment of Article 178 of the Constitution on the nomination of Governors. The ammendment will allow current President Omar Al Bashir to stand for another term.

The petition asks specifically for the amendment of the Electoral Act so that Governors may be nominated directly instead of being appointed by the President.

The text of the amendment proposal grants the President the right to relieve the elected governor if the allegiance oath is not fulfilled or there are differences or chaos that necessitate the relief of the governor.

The head of the National Congress Party bloc, Abdelrahman Saeed, told reporters on Tuesday in the Parliament that 33 parties have agreed to amend the articles after collecting 294 signatures of MPs.

He attributed the proposal to amend the Constitution that "the parties consider that the protector of the people of Sudan during the coming period is the current President Omar Al Bashir".

"Today I received a memorandum from 33 parties representing 294 deputies to amend the constitution with regard to the number of times the president's candidacy is allowed," he told reporters. "I will abide by the constitutional and legal steps and the regulations necessary to discuss these amendments in parliament for it to take any decision on them."

Electoral Act

The new Electoral Act was "unanimously" approved despite the walk-out by more than 100 Members of Parliament in the parliamentary session in late November, according to President Omar Al Bashir.

In a first reaction to the passage of the new Electoral Act, Al Bashir said that the parliament had "unanimously passed the act" through the ruling National Congress Party using its "mechanical majority".

The withdrawal of more than 100 MPs representing 34 parties and independent MPs has caused a stir in Sudanese media, as boycotters included both opposition members as well as party members allied to the NCP.

Al Bashir said in a statement in November 22 that the amendment of the Electoral Act is "the result of consultations and deliberations among all political forces in our country on the issuance of an act for the organisation of free and fair elections in 2020".

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