World Bulletin / News Desk
A coalition of Sudanese opposition parties on Thursday froze the membership of the Popular Congress Party, headed by prominent Islamist politician Hassan al-Turabi, for accepting an invitation to hold dialogue with President Omar al-Bashir.
"The coalition unanimously decided to freeze the party's membership for violating the coalition's policies and objectives," Mastour Ahmed, political secretary for the Sudanese Congress Party, told Anadolu Agency.
He stressed the decision did not include the National Umma Party, which also accepted an invitation from al-Bashir to hold discussions.
Ahmed added, however, that the National Umma Party's membership in the coalition has been suspended since last October.
The Popular Congress Party, for its part, said it did not recognize the coalition's decision.
"This decision violates coalition rules, which do not allow the membership of member parties to be frozen," Kamal Omar, the party's political secretary, said.
He described the decision to freeze his party's coalition membership as a "mistake" by political forces that "claim" to fight for democracy and freedom.
According to Omar, other coalition member-parties had set preconditions for accepting al-Bashir's invitation to dialogue, whereas his party believed these conditions should be tabled during the dialogue itself.
Sudanese opposition parties, meanwhile, say al-Bashir and al-Turabi want to unify Sudanese Islamist parties, with Qatari support, against the backdrop of a region-wide crackdown on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani paid a visit to Sudan recently as part of a regional tour that also took him to Jordan, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Al-Turabi is viewed as the godfather of Sudan's Islamist movement, which is linked to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
He is also seen as the key player in the 1989 military coup that brought al-Bashir to power.Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2014, 10:10