Sudan president's rival denounces state of emergency as `coup d'etat'

OMAR EL-BASHIR, president of Sudan, said yesterday he had declared a state of emergency to control an internal power struggle. But the country's parliamentary speaker accused the president of staging what amounted to a coup.

Appearing in army uniform for a news conference in the capital, Khartoum, Mr Bashir said Hassan el-Turabi, the speaker, had repeatedly tried to undermine him in recent weeks, leaving him with no option but to declare a three-month state of emergency. "Two captains leading one ship will cause it to drown," Mr Bashir said.

Earlier Mr Turabi denounced the state of emergency, introduced by the president two days before a parliamentary vote to limit his powers was due. "This was a plain and clear coup d'etat, despite the justification provided by Bashir," said Mr Turabi, an Islamist who is secretary-general of the ruling National Congress Party.

Mr Bashir, an army lieutenant-general, came to power in a military coup in 1989 sponsored by Mr Turabi and his now-defunct National Islamic Front. Even though Mr Bashir became president, Mr Turabi remained the regime's ideologue and strongman.

Yesterday, Mr Bashir, who dissolved parliament and suspended parts of the constitution, said Mr Turabi's attempts to undermine him had included setting up a committee last week, before which he had been expected to justify his absence from a National Congress meeting. Mr Bashir refused to appear before the committee.

Over the past year, a number of Mr Bashir's powers have been transferred to Mr Turabi, and more were expected to be handed over to him at the parliamentary session which was to have taken place today. Among the planned changes was a proposal to create a new prime minister's post and to amend the constitution to allow parliament to remove the president by a two-thirds majority.

But Mr Bashir said he had no immediate plans to try to contain Mr Turabi, who is supported by elements of the Sudanese defence forces.

Mr Bashir said he had acted within the constitution to unify Sudan in the face of outside threats, such as what he described as recent moves by the United States. The US last month approved a law allowing Sudanese rebels, who have been fighting the government for the past 16 years, to receive food aid.

President Bill Clinton has yet to decide whether to implement the measure, but the US has long accused Khartoum of supporting terrorism.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee