AFRICANGLOBE – Former presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie confessed the existence of hidden struggle within the National Congress Party (NCP) over the candidature of president Omer al-Bashir for 2015 election.
Speaking to Alray Alam daily newspaper on Monday, Nafie said that Bashir nomination for the presidential election was “a real issue” ahead of the NCP general convention which should be held on 23 October.
Nafie revealed the existence of semi-structured groups within the party over this matter, saying some sought to nominate a candidate other than the incumbent president while others wanted to re-nominate Bashir and “these are the vast majority” he stressed.
The former presidential assistant who was clearly taking sides with Bashir, went further to say that those who wanted an alternative candidate were divided and “failed to agree on one particular candidate”.
President Bashir who leads the country since 1989 asserted several times he would not run for a new term, pointing to the need to renew the country’s leadership.
However in a speech delivered at the NCP’s Shura (Consultative) National Council on 21 June 2013, he left the door open saying that the issue of his candidacy will be determined by the party’s national convention and the Shura Council.
Several NCP leading members recently informed western diplomats that Bashir would not run for president in 2015 claiming their commitment to engage in democratic reforms and to ensure political stability in Sudan.
Nafie statements are seen as the Kick-off of a public campaign for Bashir re-nomination ahead of the NCP convention within ten days.
Last August the ruling party announced that the selection of the party’s candidate for the presidency is done by the NCP Leadership Council which in turn selects five people and then refers it to the Shura Council which chooses and ranks three of the five in terms of preference.
Afterwards only one name is picked and tabled at the General Convention to endorse.
In the event that the General Convention approves that person, he becomes the chair of the General Convention and a candidate for the presidency. If there is no consensus on that person then the other two names will be presented while keeping the same ranking to pick from.
Nafei said those who sought to support another candidate now have renounced such idea as they realised that their project would fail.
He stressed he does not want to frighten people that failure to re-nominate President Bashir will cause divisions, adding there are those who say that.
Also, he was keen to close the door for NCP leaders who were part in the government to be the party’s nominee for president.
“I believe that thinking to nominate leaders who (were part of the government) is a defeat of the cause of reforms that we have started,” he said.
In December 2013, Bashir conducted a cabinet reshuffle and removed several long-time NCP figures from their governmental posts including first vice-president Ali Osman Taha, presidential assistant and NCP vice-chairman Nafie Ali Nafie.
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