Date & Time: Wednesday 25 March, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre (G2), SOAS
Speakers: Magdi el Gizouli, Academic & fellow of the Rift Valley Institute; Abdelwahab al Effendi, political scientist, University of Westminster; Nesrine Malik, columnist & political analyst; Laura James, former Economic Adviser to Thabo Mbeki's Sudan/South Sudan mediation panel.
Chaired by: James Copnall, journalist, author & editor of ‘Making Sense of the Sudans’, African Arguments
Scheduled to take place in April, Sudan’s elections will be dominated by President Omar El-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP). Bashir was reaffirmed as chairman of the NCP and presidential candidate in October 2014, after the party celebrated 25 years since its military-islamist takeover in 1989.
Most of the main opposition groups will boycott the polls, amid complaints about the strengthening of presidential powers, the violent crushing of urban protests in Autumn 2013 and the civil wars that continue in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan also suffers from an entrenched economic crisis stemming from the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of over 70% of the country’s revenues.
In 2014 the NCP convened a ‘National Dialogue’ process to achieve lasting peace and development. Despite these intentions, necessary measures to create an enabling environment for genuine and democratic debate have not yet been undertaken. Surrounded with widespread scepticism, this initiative has stalled with the withdrawal of participants such as former Foreign Minister Ghazi Salaheddin Atabani’s ‘Reform Now’. Our panel of experts, chaired by Sudan-focused journalist James Copnall, will discuss these issues and the country’s political trajectory leading up to and beyond the 2015 elections.
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Image Credit: ©turkairo