Accessibility links

Sudan’s Opposition UMMA Party to Challenge Dissolution Threat

  • James Butty

FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s largest opposition, the National UMMA party (NUP), said it will oppose by all means necessary an attempt by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to have the party dissolved or frozen.

In a complaint to Sudan’s Political Parties Council, the agency said UMMA party leader Sadig al-Mahdi violated Sudan’s Interim Constitution and Political Parties Act of 2007 when he signed the Paris Declaration with rebel groups fighting against president Omar al-Bashir’s government.

The declaration calls for dismantling Sudan’s one-party state and replacing it with a comprehensive peace and democratic transition.

NISS asked the Sudan Political Parties Council to give the UMMA party one week to respond or be dissolved.

The UMMA party has said it will boycott the April 2015 presidential election because the process would not be fair.

Mariam Sadig al-Mahdi, vice president of the UMMA party, said her organization will use legal, political and international pressure to reject what she called an unconstitutional move.

“Of course it’s nonsensical, but we believe this is part of the coming period in Sudan. The so-called constitutional amendment that took place in Sudan is a second coup in Sudan, re-enforcing the totalitarian regime and giving the president of NCP, the ruling party, the full power over everything,” she said.

Mariam al-Mahdi said the NISS represents the most chronic violation of Sudan’s constitution because instead of serving the country, it has become the tool of President Bashir.

She said her party should be congratulated for signing the Paris Declaration because the accord calls for peace and a democratic transition in Sudan.

“Actually we should have been praised for signing this agreement because the signing was based, basically, [on] doing a total change in Sudan which we had addressed with the NCP (Sudan Congress Party) itself that there is a need for change because Sudan now is a failed state, economically, politically, and with widespread conflict all the country,” Mariam said.

Mariam said even though the UMMA party has no confident in the Sudanese judicial system, its lawyers will first begin the challenge to the threat to ban the party in the courts.

She said the party will also apply political and international pressure.

“That’s why we are also addressing the international court of justice, like the African court like the African court of Human and People’s rights, as well as the Islamic League mechanism, and also addressing the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, and also addressing the United Nations Security Council,” she said.

Mariam also said the UMMA party is mobilizing its grassroots to reject what she called “this unfair and unconstitutional move by the NISS and the NCP."

"We are also connecting and mobilizing all our political parties and civil society in Sudan because we believe what has happened to UMMA Party will not be limited to [the] UMMA party,” Mariam said.