Monday, February 9, 2015

South Sudan: Opposition parties want election postponed

The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the Islamist group Sa’ihoon Sunday agreed on the need to postpone the electoral process till after a comprehensive political solution in Sudan.

Sa’ihoon, which encompasses committed Islamists and former Popular Defence Forces (PDF) combatants, distanced themselves from the regime and call for political reforms since 2013. Several of leaders had been accused of preparing a coup d’état.

The secretary-general of Reform and Renaissance Initiative (RRI), which is a political body gathering the former Islamist fighters, Fatah Alaeem Abdel-Hai held a metting with the NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi in Cairo where he resides since the signing of Paris Declaration with the rebel groups in August 2014.

Al-Mahdi and Abdel-Hai agreed that the elections should be held within the framework of a comprehensive political settlement, otherwise it would be meaningless, said a statement released following the meeting on Sunday.

The government says determined to organise general elections in the country next April and rejects calls by all the opposition forces to postpone it. However, unconfirmed reports say the government plans postpone the legislative elections and only hold the presidential election.

The two parties discussed the need for a joint action based on the rejection of the war, achievement of a just and comprehensive peace, full democratic transformation, the statement further said.

Last December, Sa’ihoon secretary general held a similar meeting with the SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman in Addis Ababa, following what the rebel groups decided to release 20 prisoners of war.

Observers noted that Abdel-Hai was not arrested by the security service after his meeting with the rebel leader.

The government bans contacts with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front factions and arrested several opposition leaders for signing a political agreement on peace and democratic reforms with them


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