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Sudan adopts law to dissolve Bashir party, ‘dismantle’ regime

Bashir’s party no more

Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | Sudan’s new authorities have ordered that the party of ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir be dissolved and his regime “dismantled”, heeding the call of protesters whose campaign led to the leader’s overthrow.

Bashir and his Islamist National Congress Party (NCP) had ruled the northeast African country since 1989 before a nationwide protest movement resulted in him being deposed earlier this year.

But, ousted president Omar al-Bashir’s party on Friday condemned what they said was the new “illegal government” move, ordering its closure and the dismantling of his regime that ruled the country for 30 years.

The National Congress Party accused the authorities of trying to confiscate NCP properties to help tackle Sudan’s economic crisis, which it said the new government had failed to tackle.

“To rely on the assets of the party, if there are any, is nothing more than a moral scandal, an act of intellectual bankruptcy and a total failure on the part of the illegal government,” the Islamist NCP said on its Facebook page.

Decision made Thursday

The country’s new ruling sovereign council and the cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok made the decision to dissolve the party, approving a law titled “Dismantling of the regime of 30th June 1989”.

“The National Congress Party is dissolved and its registration is cancelled from the list of political parties in Sudan,” the decree said, adding that a committee would be formed to confiscate all its properties and assets.

“None of the symbols of the regime or party would be allowed to engage in any political activity for 10 years”.

The dissolution of the party was “not a revenge” against the country’s former rulers, Hamdok wrote on Twitter.

“But it aims to preserve the dignity of Sudanese people which was crushed by dishonest people.

“This law aims to recover the plundered wealth of the people.”

Wajdi Salah, a spokesman of the umbrella protest movement Forces of Freedom and Change, said on his Facebook page that the old regime party would be dismantled completely.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the protest group that had initially led the demonstrations against Bashir, praised the decision to dismantle the former regime.

– Controversial law scrapped –

“It is a major step towards achieving the goal of the revolution and on the path of building a democratic civilian state,” the SPA said in a statement.

Thousands of Sudanese rallied late last month in several cities, urging the new authorities to dissolve the former ruling party.

Bashir and the NCP had ruled Sudan with an iron fist since he seized power in 1989 by overthrowing the elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.

On Thursday, the sovereign council and the cabinet also formally scrapped the controversial public-order law that had severely curtailed women’s rights in the country during Bashir’s rule.

Thousands of women were flogged, fined and even jailed under the archaic law that activists said primarily targeted women through harsh interpretations of Islamic sharia law.

Under the law those who consumed or brewed alcohol — banned in the country — were punished, while activists said security forces used the law to arrest women for attending private parties or wearing trousers.

The controversial law had led to simmering anger among women for decades.

Women were at the forefront of the demonstrations that erupted in December 2018 against Bashir.

The protests quickly turned into a nationwide anti-regime movement that finally led to his ouster.

The army deposed him on April 11 in a palace coup, and in August a joint civilian and military sovereign council was formed to oversee the country’s transition to civilian rule as demanded by protesters.

A civilian-led cabinet headed by Hamdok is charged with the day-to-day running of the country.

Bashir is being held in a prison in Khartoum facing trial on charges of corruption. Several other officials of his government and senior party members are also in jail.

pm-jds/kaf

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