New Law in Sudan Dismantles Foundations of Bashir’s Government

Sudanese authorities have approved a law to dismantle the foundations of former president Omar al-Bashir’s government. Demonstrators flooded the streets in Khartoum in celebration of the new law, which also repeals a public order act used to regulate women’s dress and behavior.

Demonstrators chanted as they march in Khartoum Thursday, after Sudan’s new ruling sovereign council and the cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok dissolved the party of former President Omar al-Bashir.

Minister of Justice Naser Eldin Abdel Bari, who proposed the law to the ministers’ council, said the law was passed under the constitutional draft signed between the military and protest leaders.

Abdel Bari says this law is directed at the National Congress Party, and allows the government to seize the NCP’s assets and hand them to the ministry of finance and strategic planning.

Demonstrators celebrated what they called a new victory for Sudan.

Omar Bob was among those on the streets.

Bob says as Sudanese, this is the happiest day, the people finally get rid of the repressive 30-year-old Bashir organization. He adds this is another achievement of the December revolution.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese began protesting late last year in anger over rising food prices. They demanded reforms and Bashir’s ouster. In April, the military removed Bashir and jailed him. Since then, protesters have demanded that his National Congress Party be eliminated.

Several other officials of his government and senior party members are also in jail, facing trial on charges of corruption.

Under the new law, members of Bashir’s government or party can not take part in any political activity for 10 years.

Leaders of the National Islamic Front, joined by other politicians, formed the NCP in 1998. It grew out of the Islamist student activism of the Muslim Brotherhood and advocated Islamism, Pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism.

Political analyst Alfatih Mahmoud thinks the timing of this decision is important to Sudan’s current transition

Mahmoud says the decision to dissolve the National Congress Party is a strategic decision issued at the right time, as the coming phase of political change will determine the directions of the revolution. He says that couldn’t happen without dismantling the NCP.

The new law also repeals of the public order act Bashir imposed. The public order act mainly was used to regulate women’s dress and behavior, and applied Sharia law, which had originally been introduced in 1983.

The general who led the effort to remove Bashir and protest leaders signed a power-sharing agreement in August, and established a joint council to govern the country for three years. After that, elections will be held to set a new government.

The National Congress Party says “illegal” government is confiscating party assets because it had not solved the country’s economic crisis.

Source: Voice of America