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Popular Congress Party Chief to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sudan Open to Many Scenarios

Popular Congress Party Chief to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sudan Open to Many Scenarios

Friday, 5 April, 2019 - 06:45
Secretary-General of Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, Dr. Ali al-Hajj.
London – Mustafa Sirry
Secretary-General of Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, Dr. Ali al-Hajj rejected the criticism against the association that is running the protests against President Omar al-Bashir’s rule.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he described the association as “professional and national” and the criticism as stemming from a desire to “eliminate the other.”

“The association leading the protests,” he continued, “is a means to pressure the authorities, not a political party in the general sense of the word.”

He said that his party stands in the middle between the government and opposition in regards to the “escalating” political and economic crisis in Sudan, adding that it supports the national dialogue outcomes.

Sudan, Hajj added, is open to many scenarios after the protests end.

The National Congress’ failure to implement the agreements of the national dialogue and its “outright violation of them” has led to the accumulation of a series of economic problems that have resulted in the current situation we see today in Sudan,” he went on to say.

Commenting on pro-government Islamic movement leaderships that have criticized the protests, Hajj remarked: “They make mistakes like all humans. They have a responsibility to call for restraint and avoid responding to provocations.”

“The people of Sudan are a generally peaceful and tolerant people and the ‘Islamists’ are no exception,” he stated. “They have expressed through the media their rejection of all forms of violence. Confrontation is not being addressed and should never be.”

Furthermore, Hajj stressed that his party opposes the state of emergency that Bashir had declared in February.

He had held talks, while abroad, with Bashir ahead of the announcement of the state of emergency. He had urged the president to focus on the causes of the protests and address them, especially in wake of the violations and violence that were being reported against the demonstrators.

“I realized that he was planning on carrying out a government reshuffle. He did not reveal details and he also spoke about introducing a state of emergency. We then argued about the issue,” Hajj said.

Sudan is now faced with many scenarios, all of which must take into consideration the outcomes of the national dialogue, Bashir’s speech in February and the proposals made by the political forces, academics and professionals of the protest movement, he stated.

The national dialogue calls for holding elections in 2020.

“We call for holding dialogue with the pro-government, opposition and armed forces in Sudan in order to reach political solutions that do not eliminate anyone. Achieving comprehensive peace throughout the crisis-stricken regions is key,” he stressed.

Moreover, he noted that Bashir was not offering new proposals to end the crisis.

“He is simply underlining policies that he has previously suggested and failed to implement,” he remarked.

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