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Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

Omer B. Abu Haraz

At the onset of the military coup of October 25, 2021, the political situation started to spin out of control. Now after more than 6 months after the coup, the situation started spiraling out of control. Spinning prevails in one horizontal dimension but spiraling prevails in two dimensions having a vertical one which leads to a catastrophic head-on collision. A collision will be manifested in dispute, streets; rallies, street barricading, killing of protestors, and deadly armed confrontations in many parts of the country including Khartoum.

Reasons for the escalations are:

  • Absence of a government for more than 6 months.
  • Key positions in the judicial system are still vacant.
  • The sluggish implementation of Juba Peace Agreement chapters, especially, peace and security arrangements on top of which is the Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR).
  • The deliberate closing of eyes on the vital issue of unification of Armed Forces in one national army. This is the key prerequisite for the international community in its endeavors to reach lasting and sustained governance in Sudan.
  • The complex and detrimental division in the civil component of the revolution is now in disarray.

The block logger-heads are creating a dreadful impasse. One block calls for a new Sudan which categorically opposes any initiative which involves the Islamic groups who ruled from June 1989 to April 2018 plus any political parties or Arm Struggle movements that joined the governance of the ousted regime at any time or those who signed with the ousted regime peace agreements, especially Doha agreements.

These new blocks of Sudan are not willing to compromise the speedy apprehension and trial of the perpetrators of the massacre of the dispersal of the sit-in and the killing of the youth of the rallies after the coup of October 25th. The other block is adopting the strategy of safe landing, which includes allowing the partnership with part of political parties and Arm Struggle Movements which withdrew from the then ruling party – National Congress Party (NCP) – and formed new Islamic parties like Popular Congress and Reform Now parties.

The gap between the two blocks is widening.

The only left option to bridge the gap is to adopt the conventional wisdom, “Let us start by picking the low hanging fruit”. The low-hanging fruit is a radical change in the governance of Sudan from parliamentary to presidential. This can be done in two separate Transitional periods (T.P.). A short one-year T.P. in which a new Constitutional Document is agreed upon calling for electing one person as President of Sudan by all people. After the first T.P., the elected President will be governed by the new  Constitutional Document or rule together with non-partisan members of the Council of Ministers.

The second T.P. is to prepare for Parliamentary elections and the drafting of a constitution to be endorsed and ratified by the elected MPs. The new constitution must adopt a 4-year term Presidential System.

The first T.P. to be run by a non-partisan Prime Minister and Ministers and a Symbolic Supreme Council headed by the Army Commander who immediately relinquishes power to the elected President.

This scenario should be appealing to hardliners of the first block because they will stand a good chance of winning the Presidency after the one year of T.P. after which all of their demands can be fulfilled especially the return of the military to the barracks.

Election of one person as President is NOT costly as it does not require census, number and locations of constituencies, and the expensive logistics of elections. It is also easy for the youth to monitor and guard the process.

The elected President will rule for only two years as a second T.P. in which a parliament will adopt and ratifies a sustainable constitution.

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