A coalition of Sudanese opposition parties has frozen the membership of the Popular Congress Party, led by Hassan Al-Turabi, for accepting an invitation for unconditional comprehensive dialogue with Prar Al-Bashir. The coalition insists on conditional talks with the president. A spokesman for the PCP criticised the coalition's decision and announced moves to form a large political party that will be concerned witesident Omh freedom and democracy.
The coalition was formed in 2009 and is made up of the major opposition groups: the Sudan Popular Liberation Movement; the Umma National Party, led by Sadiq Al-Mahdi; the Communist Party; and the Popular Congress Party, along with a number of left-wing and right-wing parties.
"The decision was made by the coalition's board at its meeting on Wednesday because the Popular Congress deviated from the common position on the issue of dialogue," said coalition spokesman Sideeq Youssef. "How can we say that we are an alliance and stand on a single platform but express completely divergent views?"
Youssef pointed out that the coalition's consistent position has been to reject dialogue unless certain conditions are met, while the PCP accepted the invitation without terms.
The political secretary for the Popular Congress, Kamal Omer, noted that the decision reflects the disarray and confusion existing within the coalition with regard to dialogue. "It suggests that it lacks the perception to solve the country's problems." He pointed out that his party founded the coalition and that there is no byelaw upon which the "no dialogue" resolution is based. "By its decision the coalition has set a bad precedent and paved the way for a major division for which it will be responsible."
Omer added that the Popular Congress does not recognise the "membership freeze" decision, and he revealed the contacts that have been made all over the country to form a vision for a wide political alliance for the sake of democracy and freedom in Sudan. At the same time, he stressed that his party is sticking to its membership of the coalition.