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FFC say more time needed to study Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration, as Communists reject it

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TMC and FFC delegations resume talks on 3 July 2019 (Photo SUNA)

July 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said its different components are considering a draft agreement submitted by the mediators while one of its factions, the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), made public its rejection of the proposed deal.

The joint drafting committees have completed its task and transformed an agreement reached on 5 July into two documents: the Political Declaration and the Constitutional Declaration.

As the two draft texts include some sticking points that the drafting committee failed to agree on it, its members decided to refer the outstanding issues again to the negotiating teams to resolve it.

A meeting held on the night of Thursday-Friday made some progress but still, other issues remained without consensus and the parties agreed to resume talks on Saturday.

"The Forces for Freedom and Change received on Friday the draft of the second document (the Constitutional Declaration), on which we have many observations that are now being studied by the FFC components," said a statement issued late on Saturday.

"The negotiating delegations will discuss and resolve the remaining outstanding points in preparation for signing the final agreement on the transfer of power to transitional civil authority," further added the FFC.

Different opposition sources said there are some reservations but the main issue of concern was an article on the political immunity of the members of the Sovereign Council added by the mediators.

They further stressed that the political immunity as such is a common practice used to protect senior officials from prosecution.

This immunity is supposed to protect them from undue pressure but not "to go unpunished for crimes including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and corruption," said Mohamed Hassan Arabi, Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP)’s Media Secretary.

Arabi further proposed to rewrite the document in a way to add the cases under which it can be removed and stressed that the decision should be taken by the legislative council, not the Sovereign Council.

However, the Sudanese Communist Party issued a statement announcing its rejection of the draft agreement saying it "consecrates the counter-revolution".

The draft keeps laws restricting freedoms and repressive institutions, including the Rapid Support Forces", led by Mohamed Dalgo "Hemetti", which are accused of involvement in the brutal attack on the pro-democracy sit-in, said the PSC.

The draft also maintains the international and regional agreements sealed by the former regime and affecting national sovereignty, especially the continuation of participation in the war in Yemen.

The deal gave the immunity to the Council of Sovereignty, and has maintained the decisions of the former military council, (...), which is unacceptable, said the statement.

Opposition officials, however, are critical for the "destructive behaviour" of the Sudanese communists who are accused of seeking to sabotage the opposition coalition.

They point an accusing finger to the Communists’ handling of such divergences which can be debated first inside the coalition and then move to discuss it with TMC within the framework of the joint mediation.

The SCP concerns are legitimate. Raising it and debating on it is urgently required to guard this agreement and push towards its implementation once it is achieved. "But at the same time, our unity is our lifesaver for the continuation of the resistance," said Amjed Farid, a spokesperson of the Sudanese Professional Association on Saturday.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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