Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid
From what we have discussed in the three previous articles, we concluded that: a- Throughout the democratic periods since independence, Sudan has been adopting the liberal democracy, the Westminster model, with a record of failure all through. b- This doesn’t mean that liberal democracy itself is invalid, but what is invalid for Sudan is the Westminster model and other models valid and practiced in the developed countries that have peculiarities & characteristics very much differ from Sudan. c- So, I am not calling for the negation of liberal democracy, rather I am calling for enriching it with creative qualitative additions that could deepen its content and give it a new form & shape compatible with the very much diversified ethnic, social & cultural components of the developing Sudan. d- Any form or model of democracy shouldn’t compromise the principles, the essence, of democracy, established & institutionalized by liberalism.
I think what we need in Sudan is a new modality with three folds: 1- to develop, or to fine-tuning, the practice of representative democracy according to the characteristics of our country, 2- while at the same time to mix it with the direct democracy, 3- to devise effective mechanisms that ensure the self-renewal of the political system promptly, taking into account the changing internal and external factors. To achieve this three-folded modality, several conditions and preconditions must be met, the most important of which are:
- Preserving the content and values of pluralist democracy established by
- Liberalism, and which have become universal, as we explained before.
- Setting the relationship of religion and state based on citizenship and equality before the law regardless of belief, adherence to the international human rights conventions and covenants, ensuring freedom of belief, religious and philosophical jurisprudence, and scientific research.
- According to the demographics, equitable distribution of resources and wealth while giving preference in development to the less developed regions.
- Adopting a political system based on decentralized governance that provides the different nationalities and ethnic groups with a fair share of power and real representation at all levels, including the head of the state, and the national, regional, and local legislative and executive institutions…etc. In this regard, we suggest staying away from the classical presidential system and ensuring giving specific limited powers to the head of the state composed of the representatives of all different regions.
- Developing the proportional representation electoral system, reviewing and developing the experience of the electoral constituencies of the graduates and the professional sectors, and not limiting the electoral competition to the parties only.
- Restricting the interference of the sect and the tribe in politics, not through administrative decisions and orders, but social, economic, and cultural measures.
- Linking educational curricula to the social and human rights issues, and developing the national education curriculum.
- Adopting economic measures for the benefit of the simple citizens and the toiling poor, and treating this as a top priority.
- Exerting intellectual efforts to develop the direct democracy model in production sites, housing areas, and in all other forms of the people, and
- combining it with the representative democracy. This effort may include:
- Recognizing the role of civil society, popular initiatives, and even regular forces in the state-building process and making important decisions related to the nation’s fate.
- Adopting the referendum mechanism to address the critical issues.
- Ensuring the rights of individuals against the arbitrariness of the state and society and making room to the fullest extent for individual activity.