Top Sudanese politician breaks away from ruling party

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Sudanese political leader Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani breaks away from the ruling party and forms a new party, Al Arabiya television reported on Saturday.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that two other leading politicians, who the who Sudan’s ruling party is trying to expel, also decided to break away.

Fadlallah Ahmed Abdallah, an MP with the governing National Congress Party (NCP), told AFP: “We decided to establish a new party carrying the hopes of the Sudanese people.”

“We have already put in motion a plan to establish this party.”

The name and structure of the new organization will be revealed within one week, Abdallah added.

On Thursday, an internal NCP investigative committee ruled that Abdallah, former sports minister Hassan Osman Riziq, and ex-presidential adviser Atabani should be ousted after they signed a memorandum criticizing the regime’s deadly crackdown on protests last month.

Atabani was the lead signatory but 30 other prominent reformers also signed the memorandum sent to President Omar al-Bashir, which they made public, according to AFP.

They charged the government’s response to the demonstrations over fuel price hikes betrayed the regime’s Islamic foundations.

Abdallah, a former engineering commissioner in West Darfur state, said all the signatories of the memorandum planned to join the new party.

“The members of parliament in our group are going to resign,” he added.

Atabani and Riziq also currently serve as NCP legislators.

(With AFP)