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Sudanese Opposition Party to Boycott April Presidential Election

FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.
FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s largest opposition party, the National Umma Party (NUP), said it will not take part in the April 13 presidential election.

Mariam Sadig al-Mahdi, daughter of NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, said any election would not be free and fair because the ruling National Congress Party of President Omar al-Bashir controls everything in the country.

Bashir, in power for 26 years, launched his re-election bid on Sunday. Mariam said the opposition wants the creation of a national unity government before any elections.

‘We are not taking part in this election; we are actually resisting this election because it has got nothing to do with election. It’s just a waste [of] time and resources,” she said.

Mariam accused the Bashir government of destroying all the pillars of a modern state.

“There is no such thing as freedom of expression, no freedom of movement, and no freedom of organization. Actually, they have changed the constitution by themselves. There is no rule of law. They have devastated totally all the pillars of a modern state,” she said.

She said what Sudanese need right now is reconciliation that would eventually lead to a genuine and just peace.

“We call for a dialogue because our concern is not who should rule Sudan but how Sudan should be ruled. For that, we are suggesting a comprehensive constitutional conference to discuss these matters and to have an interim period to last for two to three years to prepare for free and fair elections,” Mariam said.

Mariam said Bashir’s call for a national dialogue is an attempt to distract Sudanese from the real issues of the country.

The opposition also boycotted the 2010 election after accusing Bashir’s supporters of rigging the vote.

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