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Sudan approves new law to 'dissolve' former regime of Omar al-Bashir Open in fullscreen

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Sudan approves new law to 'dissolve' former regime of Omar al-Bashir

Demonstrations calling for the NCP to be disbanded were held last month. [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 November, 2019

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Sudan's new governing authorities have decided to remove Omar Bashir's ousted National Congress Party from the register of political parties in Sudan, removing all symbols associated with the regime.
Sudan's new ruling council has ordered the dissolution of Omar Bashir's ousted Islamist National Congress Party (NCP), following months of calls by protesters who had fought for his overthrow.

Omar Bashir and the Islamist National Congress Party (NCP) ruled Sudan with an iron fist from 1989 until nationwide protests in Decmeber 2018 led to his toppling in April this year.

The new governing authorities, headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, dissolved the NCP under a formal decree on Thursday.

The decree requires that the party is removed from the register of political parties within Sudan, as well as the purging of all "symbols" associated with the regime.

A committee charged with the duty of confiscating parties' properties and assets is also set to be appointed.  

On his official twitter page, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok maintained that the decree was not "revenge" against country's former rulers but seeks to "preserve the dignity of the Sudanese people which was crushed" and to recover their "plundered wealth".

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The law passed to dismantle NCP and disempower it, did not result from a quest for vengeance but rather to preserve and restore the dignity of our people who have grown weary of the injustice under the hands of NCP who have looted &amp; hindered the development of this great nation.</p>&mdash; Abdalla Hamdok (@SudanPMHamdok) <a href="https://twitter.com/SudanPMHamdok/status/1200187070624468992?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is also to enable efforts to retrieve the stolen wealth of the people of Sudan who have remained strong, resilient and revolutionary. There is a new dawn in Sudan&#39;s horizon.</p>&mdash; Abdalla Hamdok (@SudanPMHamdok) <a href="https://twitter.com/SudanPMHamdok/status/1200187230041579522?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

In a response on their official Facebook page, the NCP described the council's intention to confiscate party assets as "a grave error" and refused to recognise the legitimacy of the sovereign council and any decrees issued by them.

Read more: The Sudan Uprising and the critical role of social media

The NCP has consistently cautioned the interim government against dissolving the party. Ibrahim al-Ghandour, current leader of the party, described calls to disband the party as "deeply ignorant" and an act of political revenge.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, a protest group who played a pivotal in Bashir's ousting, praised the council's decree on their part.  

"It's 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

Last month, thousands rallied across cities in Sudan, demanding that the interim authorities dissolve the ousted party.

The sovereign council has also annulled a controversial public order law which had curtailed women's rights under Bashir's rule.

The archaic law, based on a harsh interpretation of Sharia law, legitimised the flogging and incarceration of thousands of women. Alcohol was also banned, while security forces used the law to arrest women for attending private parties or wearing trousers.

The law led to simmering anger among women for decades, an anger that found expression in the cadres of female protestors at the helm of nationwide demonstrations against Bashir which began on December 2018.

The Sudanese army deposed him on 11 April in a palace coup. In August, a joint civilian and military sovereign council was formed to oversee the country's transition to civilian rule.

Read more: Sudan forms sovereign council to lead transition

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

Bashir is currently held in prison in Khartoum. There, he faces charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds. Other officials of his government senior party members are also in jail.

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