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We Don’t Recognize Bashir as Legitimate President, Says UMMA Party Official

  • Peter Clottey

The vice president of Sudan’s UMMA party says the opposition group will not recognize President-elect Omar Hassan al-Bashir as Sudan’s legitimate leader because the election was fraught with widespread irregularities.

Fadallah Burma Nasir said President Bashir and his dominant National Congress Party (NCP) were elected against the wishes and interest of Sudanese.

“We in UMMA party did not recognize the results of this election because it was unfair, because we think that President Bashir didn’t gain the Sudanese trust,” he said.

The UMMA party joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and several other factions to boycot the poll after accusing the NCP of rigging the vote -- a charge the NCP denies.

The National Electoral Commission declared Mr. Bashir winner of the election with more than 62 percent of the total vote cast in Sudan’s first election in 24 years.

Opposition leader Nasir said that the UMMA party will not cooperate with a government that failed to win the mandate of the people through a credible vote.

“We don’t think that this government came through the right channel, through the wishes and interests of the Sudanese people. So we cannot cooperate with this sort of government,” Nasir said.

Poll observers said Sudan’s five-day election failed to meet international standards. But the African Union on Monday praised what it described as peace elections, saying it hoped Sudan would face key decision-making with wisdom.

The UMMA party’s Nasir questioned the credibility of the vote.

“We wanted the election as a moment to change, to transfer to democracy. We wanted the elections so as we, the Sudanese people, will come together to solve our problems. But this election now, it was an election within one party. It was not an election for the Sudanese people to give their views. It was an election within the National Congress Party…It is very clear that this election was not fair,” Nasir said.

Washington said Sudan's elections were neither free nor fair but it will deal with the winners to try to settle internal disputes before a referendum that will determine whether southern Sudanese will want to become independent or remain part of the north.

Nasir said the opposition will only consider working with President Bashir if there is an all-inclusive government.

“If he (President Bashir) is going to form a national government representing all the Sudanese people, a government with a real program, a program to solve Sudanese problems, yes now we can go with them,” Nasir said.

He also said that several opposition parties including the UMMA party are holding unity talks to decide their next line of action.

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