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Bashir to Involve Opposition in New Cabinet

A prominent member of Sudan’s dominant National Congress Party (NCP) says President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will only name opponents into his new cabinet if the opposition agrees to implement the programs of the ruling party.

Rabie Abdulatti Obeid said President Bashir’s yet-to-be named cabinet will ensure the full implementation of the rest of the provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

“The broad-based government that the National Congress Party will not govern the country or rule the country for the coming four years individually (or) alone, but seeking that other political parties they can take part and participate in this government on condition that these political parties should agree to implement the program of National Congress Party,” he said.

President Bashir has often stated that he is willing to dialogue with all parties in his new cabinet, including those who boycotted Sudan’s general elections.

Obeid said the NCP is willing to work with other parties to preserve Sudan’s unity.

“The program mainly is targeting the unity of south and north and also the contribution of the peace process between the armed forces in Darfur and the government. And, also, the program is targeting the continuation of the economic (al) development of the country and establishment of a balanced relation with neighboring countries and the international community,” Obeid said.

In his inaugural address after winning Sudan’s presidential election, Mr. Bashir said he is committed to working closely with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in implementing the remaining benchmarks of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The SPLM congratulated Mr. Bashir for winning Sudan’s presidential election and urged him to ensure that the next government must work at implementing the remaining CPA provisions.

The SPLM has often criticized President Bashir’s NCP of lacking the political will to fully implement the CPA - a charge the ruling party denies.

Obeid said the NCP will work with the SPLM to help all Sudanese.

“We don’t want to exclude any of the political parties. If there is any possibility to form a government including the SPLM, National Congress Party, (and) other political parties and they have one program to agree upon, it will be better for the country, and this is in the light of the challenges, on top of these challenges is the referendum which would be carried out the beginning of the year 2011,” Obeid said.

Meanwhile, NCP officials have been quoted as saying southern representation in the next federal government is necessary for the referendum to be conducted on schedule.