Turabi Predicts Imminent Split of Sudan's Ruling Party

Published May 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Veteran Sudanese Islamist Hassan al-Turabi, who has been ousted from all positions of power by President Omar al-Beshir, predicted Thursday that the ruling National Congress (NC) party would split in the next few days. 

"The coming days will witness the division of the ruling National Congress in name and form," Turabi told journalists at his Khartoum residence. 

Beshir, as NC chairman, suspended Turabi from his post as NC Secretary General on May 6, as well as all the provincial party secretaries, most of whom were considered Turabi loyalists. 

Turabi hit out at the state governors, who are mostly Beshir supporters, for selecting new local secretaries, replacing those who had been "legitimately elected." 

He said the governors had pushed through the elections of the new officials by calling conferences stuffed with non-party members or government supporters. 

One of Turabi's senior aides, former NC secretary for Khartoum state, Yassin Omar Imam, declared he would resist his replacement and continue his activities as secretary and "move the NC membership into the street."  

Turabi also accused the government of confiscating the NC funds, and of monopolizing the country's media. 

He said this meant the party would soon split. 

Asked about the reported arrival in Sudan of prominent Arab Islamists such as Yusuf al-Garadhawi from Qatar, Abdel Majed al-Zindani from Yemen and Kamal al-Sharif from Jordan to mediate between his faction and Beshir's, Turabi said: "We know nothing about it." 

He said the government had sent a delegation of Muslim Brothers and Islamic scholars loyal to Beshir to a meeting of an Islamic charity organization in Kuwait and asked Zindani, Garadhawi and others to come to Khartoum to express their support for Beshir's legitimacy. 

Reiterating his rejection of any good offices, Turabi said: "As we have said earlier, mediation will be of no use under the government's continued violation of the Constitution, the law and the party's basic rules." 

Beshir ousted Turabi from his powerful position as speaker of parliament in December, when he dissolved the body. 

Turabi, Beshir's one-time ally who helped him gain power in a 1989 coup, was long regarded as the power behind the throne in Sudan -- KHARTOUM (AFP)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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