Sudan’s military rulers have said the Islamic law and local norms should remain the guiding principle of the country’s new laws.
The 10-member Transitional Military Council (TMC) was responding to a draft constitutional document presented to it by a coalition of protest groups and political parties.
The TMC leaders said the document omitted Islamic law, which they said remained the bedrock of all laws.
“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 Shams al-Din Kabashi told reporters.
The Northeast African country’s constitution says the Islamic law is Sudan’s guiding principle.
Kabashi said the council believes the power to declare a state of emergency in the country should go to a sovereign authority, not to the cabinet, as the opposition suggested. The transitional period should last two years, not four, which was the opposition’s proposal, he said.
Discussions with the opposition were ongoing, but calling early elections within six months would be an option if they could not reach an agreement, Kabashi said.
On Tuesday, the main group spearheading the protests said the TMC responded to its plans for an interim government structure, and that it would announce its position once it had studied the reply.
Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has played the leading role in the protests, said the council had sent a written reply.
“We will study the response and will announce our position later,” Farid told reporters.
Thousands of protesters, meanwhile, remain encamped outside the army complex in capital Khartoum, demanding that the military rulers step down and hand over power to a civilian administration.
The generals took power after the army removed President Omar al-Bashir on April 11 following months of protests against his iron-fisted 30-year rule.
Since then, the military council has resisted calls for handing over power to the civilians.