Politics of Sudan

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Politics of Sudan takes place in the framework of an authoritarian republic in which all effective political power is in the hands of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup on 30 June 1989.

From 1983 to 1997, the country was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the April 6, 1985 military coup, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1996, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of 26 states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president, and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between President al-Bashir and then-speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi, who was the NIF founder and an Islamist ideologue. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the national emergency laws remain in effect. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Since then his outspoken style has had him in prison or under house-arrest, his most recent stint beginning in March of 2004 and ending in June of 2005. During that time he was under house-arrest for his role in a failed coup attempt in September of 2003, an allegation he has denied. According to some reports, the president had no choice but to release him, given that a coalition of National Democratic Union (NDA) members headquartered in both Cairo and Eritrea, composed of the political parites known as the SPLM/A, Umma Party, Mirghani Party, and Turabi's own National People's Congress, were calling for his release at a time when an interim government was preparing to take over in accordance with the Naivasha Agreement and the Machakos Accord. The Naivasha Agreement signed in January 2005 between the Government of Sudan and SPLA gave autonomy to Southern Sudan and led to the creation of the Government of Southern Sudan.

Contents

[edit] History

From 1983 to 1997, the Sudan was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the 1985 coup, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1996, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of 26 states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between president Omar al-Bashir and NIF founder, Islamist ideologue, and then speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the national emergency laws remain in effect. Around the same time the Black Book, a manuscript by dissident Westerners detailing the domination of the northern peoples, was published. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He was placed in a maximum-security prison and was freed in 2003.

As part of the agreement ending the Second Sudanese Civil War, nine members of the SPLA and 16 members of the government were sworn in as Ministers on 22 September 2005, forming the first post war government of national unity. The inauguration was delayed over arguments over who would get various portfolios and as a result of vice president John Garang. The National Congress Party kept control of the key energy, defense, interior and finance posts, while an SPLM appointee became foreign minister. Vice President Salva Kiir was reported to have backed down in the argument over who would have control of the vital Ministry of Energy and Mining, which handles the output of Sudan's oil fields.

[edit] Executive branch:

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir (عمر حسن أحمد البشير) National Congress October 16 1993
First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit SPLM August 11 2005)
Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha July 2005

President al-Bashir's government is dominated by members of Sudan's National Islamic Front (NIF), a fundamentalist political organization formed from the Muslim Brotherhood in 1986; in 1998, the NIF created the National Congress as its legal front; the National Congress/NIF dominates much of Khartoum's overall domestic and foreign policies; President al-Bashir named a new cabinet on April 20, 1996 which includes members of the National Islamic Front, serving and retired military officers, and civilian technocrats; on March 8, 1998, he reshuffled the cabinet and brought in several former rebel and opposition members as ministers; he reshuffled his cabinet again on January 24, 2000 but announced few changes. A government of national unity was sworn in on 22 September, with 16 members from the National Congress, nine from the SPLM and two from the northern opposition National Democratic Alliance, which left the seats vacant in protest over how the posts were allocated. The Darfuri rebels were not represented. Al-Bashir, as chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), assumed power on June 30, 1989 and served concurrently as chief of state, chairman of the RCC, prime minister, and minister of defense until 16 October 1993 when he was appointed president by the RCC; upon its dissolution on 16 October 1993, the RCC's executive and legislative powers were devolved to the president and the Transitional National Assembly (TNA), Sudan's appointed legislative body, which has since been replaced by the National Assembly elected in March 1996; on December 12, 1999 Bashir dismissed the National Assembly during an internal power struggle between the president and speaker of the Parliament Hasan al-Turabi

[edit] Legislative branch

The country is currently in an interim (transitional) period following the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on 9 January 2005 that officially ended the civil war between the Sudanese Government (based in Khartoum) and the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) rebel group. The newly formed National Legislature, whose members were chosen in mid-2005, has two chambers. The National Assembly (Majlis Watani) consists of 450 appointed members who represent the government, former rebels, and other opposition political parties. The Council of States (Majlis Welayat) has 50 members who are indirectly elected by state legislatures. All members of the National Legislature serve six-year terms.

[edit] Political parties and elections

The following election results include names of political parties. See for additional information about parties the List of political parties in Sudan. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Sudan.
[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the 11 to 20 December 2000 Sudanese presidential election results
Candidates - Parties Votes %
Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir - National Congress (Al Muttamar al Watani) 86.5
Gaafar Nimeiry - Working People's Force Alliance 9.6
Malik Hussain 1.6
Al-Samaw'it Husayn Uthman Mansur - Independent Democrats 1.0
Mahmoud Ahmed Juna 1.0
Source: SUNA

The elected parliament is replaced by an appointed parliament.

[edit] Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Special Revolutionary Courts

[edit] Legal system:

The legal system is based on English common law and Islamic law; as of January 20, 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion; some separate religious courts; accepts compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction, with reservations.

[edit] Administrative divisions

Sudan is divided in 26 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); A'ali an Nil, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrat, Al Jazirah, Al Khartum, Al Qadarif, Al Wahdah, An Nil al Abyad, An Nil al Azraq, Ash Shamaliyah, Bahr al Jabal, Gharb al Istiwa'iyah, Gharb Bahr al Ghazal, Gharb Darfur, Gharb Kurdufan, Janub Darfur, Janub Kurdufan, Junqali, Kassala, Nahr an Nil, Shamal Bahr al Ghazal, Shamal Darfur, Shamal Kurdufan, Sharq al Istiwa'iyah, Sinnar, Warab.

[edit] International organization participation

Sudan is member of ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)


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