November 25, 2011

Sudan’s DUP close to joining new government: sources

November 23, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani appear close to joining the upcoming government that will be formed by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, sources within the opposition party said today.

The DUP has been in talks for months with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on being part of the first cabinet that will be formed after the secession of the south last July. After initially rejecting the participation in principle the DUP appeared to soften its stance.

The Sudanese president and other NCP officials said they have received official confirmation from the DUP on joining. However, officials in the opposition party downplayed the assertions saying they asked the NCP for more concessions before they agree.

A source at the DUP said that while al-Mirghani was initially against participation he seemed to be having a change of heart owing to intense NCP pressure.

The change appears to have infuriated many in the DUP including its leading figure Abu al-Hassan Farah who said at a party convention on Thursday that Mirghani risks losing his national role immediately once the DUP-NCP coalition becomes official.

Farah also warned of a major change that will sweep the DUP as a result of al-Mirghani’s decision. He also lashed out at DUP lead negotiator with the NCP Ahmed Sa’ad Omer accusing him of being a Trojan horse within the party.

DUP sources said that the party wants to sign a written agreement with the NCP outlining the details of the participation adding that it will likely occur over the weekend.

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