Sudan Table of Contents
The RCC-NS dissolved the elected legislature when it seized power in 1989. As of mid-1991 no plans had been announced for new elections or for the creation of a new representative body. Nevertheless, Sudan's postindependence political history, characterized by alternating periods of parliamentary democracy and military rule, suggested that there was support for a popularly elected assembly. The country's first parliament, the Legislative Assembly, was established during the final years of British colonial rule, and the country's first multiparty elections were held in 1948. Subsequently, the Constituent Assembly drew up a transitional constitution that provided for a two-chamber legislature: an indirectly elected upper house, called the Senate, and a House of Representatives elected by direct popular vote. The British model of government was followed, that is, a parliamentary system in which the political party winning the most seats in the lower house formed the government. Multiparty elections for the House of Representatives were held in 1953 and 1958. The second parliament was in session only a few months before being forcibly dissolved by a military coup. Parliamentary government was restored briefly between 1964 and 1969, during which time there were two multiparty elections for the House of Representatives.
Following the precedent set by the 1958 military coup, Nimeiri dissolved parliament and banned political parties when he seized power in May 1969. Five years later, in 1974, he permitted controlled elections for a new People's Assembly. In this and subsequent balloting, candidates had to be approved by the government, and persons with known or suspected ties to the banned political parties were barred from participation. The People's Assembly never functioned as an institution independent of the executive and was dissolved after Nimeiri's overthrow in April 1985. The first genuinely democratic parliamentary elections since 1968 were held in April 1986, but no political party won a majority of seats. During the next three years, six successive coalition governments were formed. The assembly was dissolved and political parties again banned following the June 30, 1989, military coup.
Data as of June 1991