STATEMTN, BY SAYED SADIK EL MAHDI, PRESIDENT OF THE UMMA PARTY. AND LEADER OF THE OPPSITION, AT PRESS CONFERENCE HELD
ON SATURDAY 2ND STPTEMBER 1967
The Sudan is an Africa –Arab Islamic country the does not mean that all of its people arte Africans, Moslems or Arabs but rather that these attributes belong to a majority out of which the general will arises and which forms the national character.
The Sudan is now passing through a transitional stage during assembly elected after the 1964 October revolution – is in the process of being written.
The main features of that constitution are:-
- The executive organ. I.e. the Government shall be mandatory & unchangeable for a known period of time in order to guarantee security under a democratic parliamentary rule.
- The guarantee of public freedoms and regulation of these freedoms in order to avoid political corruption and prevent any danger that may threaten the democratic system.
- the revival of Islam principles under a modern system of government- and the laying down of a legislation springing from Islam to suit the needs of a modern society.
- The constitution should include a national charter for a foreign policy that will present the Sudan’s personality and specify its free- from – foreign –influence role and guarantee that roles positive and conscious weight in fields of Afro-Arab relations and its support of all freedom. Independence. And nation- building movements in that world.
- The setting up, in different regions of the country, of regional government with enough authorities to remove some existing disparities in different regions of the country and constitute and organ powerful nationality.
- The guarantee of the freedom of religions and the equality of all citizens before the law that is, in spite of differences faith or color.
These are the main features of the new Sudanese constitution now being written by a national committee and which will be put before the constituent Assembly to pass it before February 1968 which is the scheduled time for holding the general electronics under the new constitution.
Until that time, the present coalition government, to which we are standing in opposition, shall run the affairs of this country.
Our position in regards to the present government is:-
- Support of its stand towards Arab Solidarity and of the various steps it has taken in that field. in our opinion, the position the government has taken was correct, but the execution was, in most cases full of shortcoming. We have given our advice for meeting those shortcomings and have not stood as mere spectators but the government has not fulfilled its promise of consulting us allowing our participation.
- Opposition of its deplorable neglect of internal affaires, during these critical times.
- opposition of its omission to undertaken and important large-scale activity in Africa that we find necessary for the safety of the Sudan, the strengthening of the Arab position in African countries, the support of just African causes and the contribution in instructing African public opinion.
But the opposition, despite all that, dismisses any view calling for a change of this government, as long as the constitution gets written in time and the general elections get held according to schedule, and with no intervention whatsoever to stop the qualified citizen from peacefully exercising his rights, so that the country will avoid any disturbance or insecurity.
The Sudan’s apparent potentional is very enormous indeed, it has about 200 million feddans of cultivable land, 35 million heads of animal wealth, vast quantities of timber, mineral and marine wealth that will, all combined, and in event of political under – highest standard of living.
We have, in the umma party, called for the dire need remove the power of traditional and rigid organization in the field of political work because of their confirmed inability to contribute of nation –building or the creation of the modern state. we have called fro the rejuvenation of traditional political parties so that they become closer to the people and their leadership composed of elements read to make the necessary social and political change and more capable of undertaking the responsibilities of leadership in the effort of building the modern state. The new leadership must be serious and able to differentiate between private and public interest and must have all the necessary attributes without which political responsibility at this critical stage of the country’s life will become impossible.
We have also called for a meeting of responsible political elements in a charter that will unite the country’s will for the realization of the following goals:-
- Of building the modern state and dissolving sectarian, tribal and territorial bias into the national whole.
- Of freeing national economy from foreign influence and from domination by any one social class inside the country. Planning the economy. In order to ascertain. In order to ascertain sufficiency fro all and equity. Of distribution together with a guarantee of government advise and coordination between the public, private and co-operative sectors.
- Completing the solution of the problem of the Southern provinces on the basis of establishing regional government, insuring religious freedom and intensifying the economic effort in more backward areas.
- Preserving a political system that will guarantee government by popular consent and public freedoms with the law and insure the supremacy of law.
THE ARAB POSITION
- We have submitted a memorandum (a copz of witch is available to conference of Arab foreign ministers.
- We welcome the holding of this Arab summit conference. in spite of the fact that we do not think it will be able to tale great and major political steps it will nevertheless symbolize a greatest degree it will nevertheless symbolize a greater degree of Arab solidarity and a achieve a minimal agreement in some specific questions and that, unfortunately, is all that summitry can achieve in the present stage of the development of the Arab political movement.
We believe that all of the third world is morning in the direction of organizing greater alliances of the present states and that can be achieved within the realms of Arab or African unity etc…
But such ideals of unity cannot be achieved unless a maturity of the existing political movement working for it is also achieved.
In the Arab world, for example, there are three stages of political development. First the stage of liberation.
The next pase of development is to construct the modern stage then reorganize society according to a progressive plan which shall realize the society of affluence and equity.
To be conscious of the aforementioned phases of social development and to expend the necessary effort to live through these stages of progress and to grow past them is the responsibility of political movements within each and every country.
Cooperation and the diffusion of political consciousness is a duty unto all. But to move and get hold of the reigns of power cannot be effected by one section or faction imposing its will on the others- for to dictate to people, and circumstance through seizure of power are of power creates in our opinion, and negative reactions at home by the elements which are poosed to social change and abroad, the negative reaction will come from international counter- revolutionary forces which will by consequence self- style themselves an international police force.
- The case fro the liberation of Arab lands occupied since 1948 by force of arms, has all kinds of legal and moral argument just of it but the inadequacy of translating such ideas into action makes them impracticable.
- the remaining alternatives are:-
- Recognition of Israel as the price for Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territory!
- maintenance of the status quo in the Middle East at present with a view to evacuation of Arab territories by Israeli forces in barter for dispositions and solutions undertaken by a third partz (e.g. the security council).
It is onlz the third alternative which can, if adopted, will, if arrived at, be the proof of the wisdom and fairness of world diplomacy.
- This last war has taught the Arabs a number of great lessons international internal organization, inter- Arab- relations, and international ties. it is indeed best that Arab political leadership journalists, writers, and thinker all over the Arab world should undertake very serious study of their predicament so that they may come out with Arab societies that are better adapted for the … and various challenges of life in this latter half of the 20th century and I am pleased to say that we in the Sudan have been much aided in this direction from the very start of the crisis by the freedom of exp session guaranteed bz our laws.
This movement for awakening and reopening is now well advanced in its task.
- We have called upon Arab states to support the Congolese republic in its struggle against mercenaries and other disruptive elements seeking to get the young republic under the yoke of an exploiting minority.
- We have also called upon them to support the federal Government of Nigeria against the force of disintegration and chose. Also to condemn the action of power aiding and abetting rebellions claiming neutralize between the forces of order and those of anarchy.
- We take very close view of matters in Aden and we have telegraphed Aden leaders now meeting in Cairo and Aden to that effect.
As we thank God for whatever facility accorded to our efforts, we thank you all for taking the trouble to come here and assure you of our readiness to answer anz relevant questions left unanswered by out note.