Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid
In our previous article, we concluded that democracy has a permanently unchanged & fixed essence of universal values & principles, whether it is practiced in UK, USA, Malesia, or Sudan, but, it may, or should, be implemented & practiced with different forms & models according to the peculiarities of different societies & countries.
Hence the challenge that faces the elites & the political thinkers in Sudan is how to create a model of democratic practice suitable for our country, i.e. while preserving its untouchable essence, but at the same time carefully takes into account, and assimilates, the distinctive characteristics of the Sudanese society & reality of ethnic, tribal, political, religious and sectarian diversities &complexities…etc.
We stated that such a formula can be easily reached within the framework of the free and democratic dialogue. But, if any component of the political movement rises to announce the failure of any ongoing democratic experience and declares that it alone possesses the appropriate alternative, then practically it forcefully imposes its perceptions of how to rule the country, while ignoring the perceptions of the others, and in fact, it violates their rights and nullifies their existence. This is true whether this rising component is secular, revolutionary, or follows divine sanctity, and its move is a direct walk towards a blocked horizon, the horizon of dictatorship.
Yes, liberal democracy is on the top, but, my conviction, it is not the ceiling, it is not the upper limit or the most advanced & developed model of democratic practice. If you carefully witness what is going on today in the western capitalist countries, you can easily identify the limitations and distortions of this highly advanced model, since it is not enough to limit the activities of the masses into the mere expression of opinion while denying their right to participate in the decision-making processes!
However and despite all of this, the liberal democracy has not yet exhausted all its potentialities and purposes, and what so ever a new model is reached, it should not, and cannot, repeal the liberal model, but rather to upgrade it dialectically, in the sense of preserving those principles and values established by liberalism and entrenched in the form of rights and freedoms, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers, and the peaceful transfer of power. … etc., into a new model optimal to Sudan in terms of avoiding the formalism and falsity of the liberal democratic practice, and its failure to translate the people’s will into a real and tangible reality.
In other words, what is required is the creation of qualitative additions to the pluralist Westminster democracy that could deepen its content and give it a new form which is more welcoming, and more appropriate for our country. These qualitative additions may include: how to reform the political and parliamentary system, how to build a civic state which is separated from religion while not harassing the political parties of Islamic orientation, how to reconcile the political & the social weight and the influence of the traditional sectarian forces with the aspirations of the modern forces who are always the tip of the spear in the process of the social change, how to address the issues of marginalized areas & the genuine demands of the different ethnic groups as a top priority, within the framework of the fundamental question on how practically we, the different, various & diversified social & ethnic components of Sudan, could reach and implement successfully & unanimously the fair distribution of resources & the equitable participation in power. (To be continued)