Opposition boycotts Sudanese elections law debate

Thursday November 22 2018

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMMED AMIN
By MOHAMMED AMIN
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Sudanese parliament's minority members boycotted the House session on Wednesday to frustrate the ratification of the controversial elections law.

The endorsement of the laws has been postponed twice in the past, in a bid to build consensus between the different parliamentarian blocs.

An independent member, Mr Mubarak Alnur, said 34 minority legislators walked out of the House to protest the majority's bid to pass the laws.

The president

“Thirty four out of the 490 members walked out of the session, rejecting the ruling party's use of simple majority to ratify the law,” Mr Alnur explained.

The protesting lawmakers were members of the bloc comprising the Popular Congress Party (PCP), the Umma Party and the Independents.

The areas of contention relate to the formation of the electoral commission by the president, the election of the state governors, the number of polling days and the voting of the Sudanese diaspora.

Mr Alnur criticised the use of simple majority mechanism to pass the law, describing it as a violation of the recommendations of the national dialogue agreed on between the different political parties.

National dialogue

The national dialogue, initiated by President Omar Bashir in January 2014, culminated in the formation of the consensus government in 2015.

The recommendations of the national dialogue stated that the elections law, among other bills, should be passed by consensus among all the legislators.

The ruling National Congress has already nominated President Bashir to bid for a third mandate, as it pushes for the abolition of the term limit.

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