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Sudan's ex-ruling party condemns law dissolving it, to continue 'reforms'

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s former ruling National Congress Party of deposed president Omar al-Bashir condemned a law passed by transitional authorities to dissolve the NCP and seize its assets, saying it would pursue internal reforms.

The legal committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition, which spearheaded months of unrest that led to Bashir’s ouster in April and now shares power with the military, said on Friday that the NCP has been dissolved in accordance with the law. There was no immediate official comment.

The law will be a test of the transitional authorities’ ability to banish to the past three decades of rule by Bashir, who seized power in a June 1989 coup and implanted his repressive Islamist movement deep into Sudanese institutions.

The FFC now shares power with the military ahead of planned free elections in three years’ time.

An NCP statement issued on Friday said the dissolution order, if carried out, “would add nothing to the country but tension and hyperbole devastating to political life.

“We assure our proud people and our extended membership in cities, villages, towns and districts across Sudan that we are continuing to complete the reform and change we have initiated before others in order to safeguard our country and serve our people,” the NCP said.

“With its reckless decisions (the FFC) wants to return (Sudan) to the malicious, vicious cycle that has held back the country for the past 63 years,” the statement added, referring to Sudan’s six decades as an independent state.

The NCP said its right to participate in political life was guaranteed by national and international statutes.

On Thursday evening, the co-ruling Sovereign Council and government Cabinet approved the dissolution of the NCP and repealed a public order law that had been used to regulate the behaviour of women under the Islamist Bashir.

The two measures responded to key demands by the protest movement.

The law’s text was posted on Twitter by the Sudanese Congress Party, a member of the FFC. The text stipulates: “The National Congress Party shall be dissolved and its legal personality shall expire and shall be removed from the registry of political parties and organisations in Sudan.”

Properties and funds owned by the NCP or associated groups shall be seized and transferred to the finance ministry, it said.

The Sovereign Council and the technocratic Cabinet plan to form a “Committee for the dismantling of the June 30 regime” with broad investigative powers and authority to break up unions, parties and other organisations from the Bashir era.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; writing by Yousef Saba; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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