People wave as they arrive on vehicles in the town of Abyei ahead of the referendum yesterday.
KHARTOUM: Three leading reformers faced with expulsion from Sudan’s ruling party have decided to form a new party following a deadly crackdown on protests last month, one of them said yesterday.
“We decided to establish a new party carrying the hopes of the Sudanese people,” Fadlallah Ahmed Abdallah, an MP with the governing National Congress Party (NCP) said.
“We have already put in motion a plan to establish this party.” The name and structure of the new organisation will be revealed within one week, Abdallah added.
On Thursday, an internal NCP investigative committee ruled that Abdallah, former sports minister Hassan Osman Riziq, and ex-presidential adviser Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani should be ousted after they signed a memorandum criticising the regime’s crackdown on protests over price rises in September.
Atabani was the lead signatory but 30 other prominent reformers also signed the memorandum sent to President Omar Hassan Al Bashir that they made public.
They charged the government’s response to the demonstrations over fuel price hikes betrayed the regime’s Islamic foundations.
Abdallah, a former engineering commissioner in West Darfur state, said all the signatories of the memorandum planned to join the new party.
“The members of parliament in our group are going to resign,” he added.
Atabani and Riziq also currently serve as NCP legislators.
Abdallah said retired military officers who signed the memorandum will also join the new group.
These include retired armed forces Brigadier Mohammed Ibrahim, who was sentenced to five years in prison in April for allegedly leading a coup plot against the regime last year.
Bashir later granted amnesty to him and others involved.
In their memorandum, the reformers made a series of recommendations, including for an independent probe of the shooting of civilians during the protests, and for a reversal of the price increases.
Instead, they found themselves under investigation by the party.
Ahmed Ibrahim Al Tahir, who led the internal probe, said Thursday that the NCP membership of Abdallah, Riziq and Atabani would be revoked if a 400-member party council gives final approval.
He said six others who endorsed the memorandum had been suspended from party activities for one year.
They violated party rules by setting up a “parallel organisation” and by communicating with other political parties without NCP approval, Tahir said. AFP