Sudan's military rulers said Tuesday they generally agreed with proposals made by protest leaders on the structure of an interim government, but want Islamic Sharia and local norms as basis of new Constitution.
Won’t Accept Chaos: Sudanese Army Threatens Protesters Demanding Civilian Gov’t
Protesters whose months of street demonstrations helped force longtime President Omar al-Bashir from office last month have kept up their demands for change, calling on the military officers who took over to hand over power to civilians.
Responding to a draft constitutional document presented by a coalition of protest groups and political parties, the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) noted that the document omitted Sharia law.
"Our view is that Islamic Sharia and the local norms and traditions in the Republic of Sudan should be the sources of legislation," TMC spokesman Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi told reporters.
Sudanese protest leaders rejected the use of Islamic laws. Amged Farid, the spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, told MEE Wednesday that the usage of Islamic law is aimed at blackmailing opposition activists.
"The insertion of Islamic and Sharia issues into this situation is an attempt to practice political blackmail," Farid said. "We are discussing transitional arrangments, transitional institutions. This is the subject, not Sharia," said Khaled Omar Youssef, a protest leader with the opposition Sudanese Congress Party.
"Issues like Sharia or the language of the state, those are ideological weapons the former regime kept using to divide the people on the issue of mobilization, between Muslims and non-Muslims, Arabs and non-Arabs. We are not willing to sit for this game," he said.
Salah Aldoma, a political analyst from Sudan said that using Sharia is counter-revolutionary.
"The Sudanese revolution is against political Islam and anyone seeking the backing of Islamists in Sudan will lose popularity," he said.
Using Sharia is “the old regime discourse” according to an activist and the whole movement is about disrupting the “old regime.”
The Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, an alliance of activists and opposition groups, sent the military council the draft constitutional document Thursday outlining its vision for the transitional period.
Earlier Tuesday the main group spearheading protests in Sudan said that the TMC had responded to its plans for an interim government structure, and it would announce its position once it had studied the reply.