- elections - South Sudan - Sudan
Ruling party says it is ready to include opposition in future govt
Sudan's ruling National Congress Party said Wednesday it would offer an "invitation to all parties" to join a coalition government if it is proclaimed winner of elections marred by logistical delays and an opposition boycott.
AFP - Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir's ruling party on Wednesday reached out to the opposition, much of which has boycotted ongoing elections, calling for an "inclusive" government.
Presidential adviser Ghazi Salaheddin said that "given the challenges facing the nation," Beshir's National Congress Party (NCP) was interested in "our government being as inclusive as possible."
"If we are declared winners... We would extend the invitation to all parties, even those who have not participated in the elections, because we believe this is a critical moment in our history," Salaheddin told reporters.
The statement came as authorities suspended voting in areas struggling with logistical problems in the presidential, legislative and local elections already marred by the boycott and extended for two days until Thursday.
The former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, a partner in the national unity government, also boycotted the vote in parts of the country and withdrew its presidential candidate.
Asked if he believed the political groups boycotting the vote would be willing to join the NCP in a government, Salaheddin said he thought it would be "in their interest."
"If the elections are recognised by international players and international institutions, that would mean that the government is recognised," Salaheddin said.
"If they decide not to join the government, not to heed the offer, they would be isolating themselves from the process."
"I think any politician in his right mind would not decline such an offer," he said.
The opposition boycott was announced after ballot papers were printed, leaving open the possibility for individual candidates to still run and win in their constituencies despite their party's decision to pull out.