National Congress Party (Sudan)

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National Congress Party

المؤتمر الوطني
Founded1998 (1998)[1][2]
Banned29 November 2019
Preceded byNational Islamic Front
Arab nationalism[3]
Social conservatism
ReligionSunni Islam
International affiliationMuslim Brotherhood
Colours  Green
Official website

The National Congress Party (NCP; Arabic: المؤتمر الوطني‎, al-Mu'tamar al-Waṭanī) was a major political party that dominated domestic politics in Sudan from its foundation until the Sudanese Revolution.

After the split of the National Islamic Front (NIF), the party was divided into two parties. The Islamic Movement led by its secretary Hassan al-Turabi and the military commanded by Omar al-Bashir launched a military coup against President-elect[citation needed] Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1989. Omar al-Bashir, who also became president of the National Congress Party and Sudan, seized power and began institutionalising Sharia at a national level.

After a military coup in 1969, Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry abolished all other political parties, effectively dissolving the Islamic Parties. Following political transition in 1985, Turabi reorganised the former party into the National Islamic Front (NIF), which pushed for an Islamist constitution. The NIF ultimately backed another military coup bringing to power Omar al-Bashir, who publicly endorsed the NIF’s Islamist agenda. The party structure was composed at the national level of the General Conference, the Shura Council and the Leadership Council, and the Executive Office.

The NCP was established in 1998 by key political figures in the National Islamic Front (NIF) as well as other politicians. The rule of the NCP was the longest and, by most standards, most successful reign in independent contemporary Sudanese history. It grew out of the Islamist student activism of the Muslim Brotherhood, passing through the same revolutionary salafi jihadism. The party followed the ideologies of Islamism, Pan-Arabism, and Arab nationalism.

The NCP was banned by the Sovereignty Council of Sudan in the aftermath of the military takeover on 29 November 2019.[4] All party properties were confiscated and all party members were barred from participating to election for ten years.[5]

Formation of the party[edit]

NCP logo used in the 2010 Sudanese elections, dropped after South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

With Omar al-Bashir becoming President of Sudan, the National Congress Party was established as the only legally recognised political party in the nation in 1998, with the very same ideology as its predecessors National Islamic Front (NIF) and the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation, which al-Bashir headed as Chairman until 1993. As the sole political party in the state, its members quickly came to dominate the entire Sudanese parliament. However, after Hassan al-Turabi, the speaker of parliament, introduced a bill to reduce the president's powers, prompting al-Bashir to dissolve parliament and declare a state of emergency, a split began to form inside the organisation. Reportedly, al-Turabi was suspended as Chairman of National Congress Party after he urged a boycott of the President's re-election campaign. Then, a splinter-faction led by al-Turabi, the Popular National Congress Party (PNC) which was renamed the Popular Congress Party (PCP) shortly afterwards, signed an agreement with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), one of the largest rebel groups in the country, which led al-Bashir to believe that they were plotting to overthrow him and the government.[6] Al-Turabi was subsequently imprisoned in 2000 on allegations of conspiracy before being released in October 2003.[7]

Approving South Sudanese autonomy[edit]

In 2000, following the Sudanese government approving democratic elections that were boycotted by the opposition, it merged with the Alliance of Working Peoples' Forces Party of former President Gaafar Nimeiry. This merger later disintegrated with the launch of the Sudanese Socialist Union Party. The utility of the elections was questioned due to their boycotting by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Umma Party. At those legislative elections, in December 2000, the party won 355 out of 360 seats. At the presidential elections of the same year, its candidate Omar al-Bashir won 86.5% of the popular vote and was re-elected. National Congress Party members continue to dominate the Lawyers' Union and heads of most of North Sudan's agricultural and university student unions. Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the SPLM in 2005, the NCP-dominated government of Sudan allowed Southern Sudan autonomy for six years, to be followed by a referendum on independence in 2011, thus ending the Second Sudanese Civil War. South Sudan voted in favour of secession.

War in Darfur[edit]

Since the outbreak of the War in Darfur in 2004 between the government of Omar al-Bashir and rebel groups such as the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the NCP has been almost universally criticised for allegedly, however not officially, supporting Arab militias such as the Janjaweed through a campaign of murder, rape and deportation against the militants as well as the local population. Because of the guerrilla warfare in the Darfur region, between 200,000[8] and 400,000 people have been killed,[9][10][11] while over 2.5 million people have been displaced[12] and the diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad has never been worse.[13] This has led to the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicting State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun and alleged Muslim Janjawid militia leader Ali Mohammed Ali, also known as Ali Kushayb, in relation to the atrocities in the region.[14] On 14 July 2008, ten criminal charges were announced against President Omar al-Bashir, and subsequently. a warrant for his arrest was issued.[15][16][17] As of June 2019, al-Bashir, Haroun and Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, also a member of the National Congress and indicted by the ICC, were held under detention by Sudanese authorities while the Transitional Military Council held power.[18][19] Kushayb and Abdallah Banda, also indicted by the ICC, remained fugitives as of June 2019.[18][19]

2010 election[edit]

Despite his international arrest warrant, President Omar al-Bashir remained the leader of the NCP and its candidate in the 2010 Sudanese presidential election, the first election with multiple political parties participating in ten years.[20] His political rival was Vice-President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who was also a leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army and subsequently became President of South Sudan.[21][22]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Candidate Votes % Result
1996 Omar al-Bashir 4,181,784 75.68% Elected Green tickY
2000 86.5% Elected Green tickY
2010 6,901,694 68.24% Elected Green tickY
2015 5,252,478 94.05% Elected Green tickY

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2000 Omar al-Bashir
350 / 360
Increase 350 Increase 1st Supermajority government
323 / 450
Decrease 32 Steady 1st Supermajority government
2015 3,915,590 78.32%
323 / 426
Steady Steady 1st Supermajority government

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Constitutional History of Sudan".
  2. ^ Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn; Lobban, Richard (2001). "The Sudan Since 1989: National Islamic Front Rule". Arab Studies Quarterly. 23 (2): 1–9. JSTOR 41858370.
  3. ^ a b "Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Omar al-Bashir: How Sudan's military strongmen stayed in power". BBC News. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Omar al-Bashir's political party banned in Sudan". Peoples Dispatch. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Profile: Sudan's President Bashir". BBC News. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  7. ^ Wasil Ali, "Sudanese Islamist opposition leader denies link with Darfur rebels", Sudan Tribune, 13 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Q&A: Sudan's Darfur conflict". BBC News. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  9. ^ "The World Factbook - Sudan". CIA. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  10. ^ "People's Daily Online - Darfur peace talks to resume in Abuja on Tuesday: AU". 28 November 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Hundreds Killed in Attacks in Eastern Chad -". The Washington Post. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  12. ^ de Montesquiou, Alfred (16 October 2006). "AUF Ineffective, Complain Refugees in Darfur". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Sudan cuts Chad ties over attack". BBC News. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  14. ^ Walker, Peter (14 July 2008). "Sudan's Bashir charged with Darfur war genocide World news". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  15. ^ International Criminal Court (14 July 2008). "ICC Prosecutor presents case against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur". Archived from the original on 25 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  16. ^ International Criminal Court (4 March 2009). "Warrant of Arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2009. (358 KB). Retrieved on 4 March 2009
  17. ^ BBC News, 4 March 2009. Warrant issued for Sudan's Bashir . Retrieved on 4 March 2009
  18. ^ a b Elbagir, Nima (15 April 2019). "As Bashir faces court, Sudan's protesters keep the music alive". CNN. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  19. ^ a b Bensouda, Fatou (19 June 2019). "Statement to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in Darfur, pursuant to UNSCR 1593 (2005)". International Criminal Court. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  20. ^ "SudanTribune article : SPLM Kiir to run for president in Sudan 2009 elections".
  21. ^ "SPLM Kiir to run for president in Sudan 2009 elections - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  22. ^ "SPLM Kiir to run for president in Sudan 2009 elections". Sudan Tribune. 27 July 2008.

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