Democratic Unionist Party (Sudan)

Democratic Unionist Party (Sudan)
Democratic Unionist Party
Leader Al-Sayyid
Founded 1950 (1950)
Headquarters Khartoum
Ideology Nationalism
Political position Right-wing
National Assembly of Sudan
4 / 450
Council of States of Sudan
1 / 50
Politics of Sudan
Political parties

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The Democratic Unionist Party (Arabic: الحزب الإتحادي الديموقراطي‎) (Al Hizb Al-Ittihadi Al-Dimuqrati) is the oldest political party in Sudan.

Sudan's first President Ismail al-Azhari was a member of the party when it was known as the National Unionist Party. It was in 1967, in the house of its patron Sir Sayyid Ali Al-Mirghani, that Al-Azhari declared the new party under the name; Democratic Unionist Party in the presence of the current leader Al-Sayyid Muhammad Othman Al-Mirghani and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

The party's main platform is in favour of the unity of Sudan and previously Sudan and Egypt the downstream Nile River riparians.

The head of the Sudan DUP is Al-Sayyid Muhammad Othman Al-Mirghani. He is also the head of the Khatmiya Sufi order and a descendant of the prophet Muhammad.

The DUP is the only Sudanese party to have ever solely governed the country through democratic elections (1953) winning 58 seats followed by the Umma Party with 22 seats. It is seen as the only major Sudanese party that has not participated in a coup d'etat in Sudan since its independence.

In the last democratic elections (in 1984) the party won the largest number of votes and came second in the number of seats won in parliament.

The basic intellectual underpinnings of the party since its general congress in late 1960s, are: democratic pluralism (parliamentary) politically, socialism democracy economically, social justice, and the establishment of a neutral country towards religions as the only acceptable way for peaceful coexistence in a country with different components of ethnic, tribal, religious, intellectual and cultural aspects in order to ensure the principle of that the "The sole basis of rights and duties should be based upon the Citizenship alone.".

The party has long-standing relations with the SPLM with whom it signed the Peace Deal of November 1988 in Ethiopia which was then opposed by the NIF party. It also enjoys good relationships with almost all the Sudanese political groups.

The last legislative elections, December 2000, were boycotted by the party, as most of the political groups, described as unfair and rigged.

Through the National Democratic Alliance it played a major role in the opposition to the NIF regime in Sudan during 1989-2005 until the signing of the Cairo Peace Agreement between the NDA and the government of Sudan. As a consequence of its stances the DUP has suffered continuous attempts to divide and weaken it by the Sudanese security forces and the ruling party of Sudan, which seem to have failed so far.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the SPLM and the government of Sudan, the party's position has shifted towards a more mediatory role attempting to re-align the old and new opposition parties in a comprehensive stance to tackle the broader Sudanese issues such as unity, elections and transition into democracy avoiding polarisation which it views as damaging to the long term interests of the country.

It continues to view the National Democratic Alliance as a long term alliance that could rightly guide the political movement in Sudan.

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