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Sudan’s parliament likely to approve 12 month emergency rule as Bashir clings on


Sudan’s parliament likely to approve 12 month emergency rule as Bashir clings on

sudan state of emergency parliament
sudan state of emergency parliament
Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty

Sudan’s parliament will meet today to discuss a year-long state of emergency declared by President Omar al-Bashir on February 22. The parliament must vote on the state of emergency within 30 days, or it will lapse.

Anti-government protests have rocked Sudan since December 19. Initially sparked by rising bread prices, demonstrations are now aimed at pressuring President Bashir to step down. This has been met with a violent crackdown by security forces.

The government says it has implemented a state of emergency to address economic concerns. But while some measures are economic, most merely increase the powers of the security services to detain and imprison, while also prohibiting freedom of assembly and expression. As such, the emergency rule is primarily an attempt by Mr Bashir to frighten demonstrators off the streets and into submission.

Five days after imposing the state of emergency, the president also replaced all state governors with military officials and installed senior military leaders into key cabinet positions.

While Mr Bashir resigned as the chairman of the National Congress Party on Friday, the party is expected to approve the state of emergency before the March 24 deadline.

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With more power and influence than ever before, the military and security services are likely to stay loyal to Mr Bashir for now, keeping the 30-year president in power for the foreseeable future.

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