News from Khartoum
The Political Parties Law: Limiting Political Powers and Practice
A short time amid the approval of the new Press Law and the new Elections Law and the controversy surrounding it; the ruling party enters a new battle fought within the Political Parties Law which organizes and regulates the political practice inside of Sudan. One of the recommendations of the Reformation Paper issued by the ruling National Congress party included the reformation of the political practice, which is due to the significant expand in political practice which strengthened and expanded and increased the number of political organization, exceeding more than 100 registered political parties and organizations.
Political Secretary of the ruling National Congress party, Omer Basan, said to the Sudanese Centre for Journalistic Services that his party will lead a strategic and transparent dialogue with the political powers and organizations regarding the Political Parties Council Law; calling political parties to present their proposals regarding the proposed amendment to the Law; expressing that his party – through its commissioned committee – has set its proposals for discussion with political powers and organization as to reach understandings. Basan further assured the presence of much mutual understanding points regarding the Elections Law and the Political Parties Law.
Secretary-General of Political Parties Council, Aboud Jabir, said to Al-Entibaha newspaper that the council supports the reformation of political parties and practice, not the cancellation of political parties; he also regarded the Sudanese political parties as mature political parties and emphasized that his mentioned opinion is not just “empty talking,” since the Sudanese nation is mature and intellectual. He also sees that the Political Parties Law which regulated the work of political parties contains general principles set to certify and validate political parties’ registration as well as getting familiar about their activities and ensuring that they consider the nature of political work alongside the nature of the Sudanese people. Moreover, he expected amendments to target specific points such as: Membership regulations, pointing out the presence of a constructive proposal which conveys that membership should be between 200 and 500 members or more.
Jabir assured that the amendments are realistic, comprehensive and just. He said that the phrase “cancellation/termination of political parties,” contradicts the Law, indicating that the Law is set to regulate political practice as to not contradict political practice freedom. He added that the council does not endorse the term “degradation,” because it is an illegal and unconstitutional term; “we endorse political reformation, organizing of political practice and assuring the right of the community.
Political analyst, Abubakr Adam, expressed some remarks regarding the Political Parties Law to the newspaper. He initially showed concern regarding the fate of Law being the same as the fate of previously announced Laws by the ruling party which ends up being accused of the very creation of said Laws; “I noticed that all the previously approved Laws faced concerns including: The Press Law which was passed and approved without the acceptance of the parties relevant to the Law as well as the Elections Law.
Furthermore, the Interim Sudanese Constitution, 2005 states in Article 40-1: “The right to peaceful assembly shall be guaranteed; every person shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form or join political parties, associations and trade or professional unions for the protection of his interests.”