Over the past week rumours of new bedfellows joining the ‘elected’ NCP government got louder and bolder. A news piece published by al Sahafa said that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had accepted a deal to enter government for the bait of 3 federal ministers, 3 ministers of state, and a number of positions at state level. The announcement was soon annulled and declared shear blasphemy by an angry Hatim al Sir, DUP presidential candidate, who went as far as saying the DUP would not accept participation in government even at the price of a full cabinet. A day after it was reported that the DUP chairman, Sayed Mohamed Osman al Mirghani, expressed willingness to enrol in the cabinet, however under the umbrella of the clinically dead National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and not in the name of the amoebic DUP. Khartoum’s informed citizens also got to know that Sayed Sadig al Mahdi, the Umma head and Ansar patron, had presented his son, Abdel Rahman, as a candidate for the post of state minister of defence in the context of an extensive make out with the NCP. True or false, Khartoum’s political bowels are rumbling loud, and the new government has not yet been announced, despite the NCP’s landslide victory.
Apparently the NCP is not one mind about which way to go. The ‘hardcore’ security cabal, presumably led by Nafie Ali Nafie, is pushing for an NCP only government that tolerates invited SPLM ministers, while the politically sly, probably led by Ali Osman Taha, are suggesting embracing Umma and DUP, in the intention of spreading responsibility for the ambiguous near future rather than sharing power. Both Umma and DUP are thirsty for a sip of power, small or large, lest attrition present the two with even more embarrassing predicaments than the regular Hajj to the Presidential Palace in search for cash, and the ever delayed committee meetings with the NCP thick-hides.
Bashir though did his homework well and has re-shuffled the high command of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), probably in expectation of ‘challenges’ to come, bearing in mind the strong feelings, an understatement, in the officer corps against the prospect of letting Southern Sudan go. It is no secret that the whole Naivasha package does not find much favour with SAF. If loss of the Northern enemy robs the South of a major unifying factor, loss of the South essentially robs SAF of its narrative of legitimacy as defender of the ‘nation’ and rule worthy ‘super-party’.