Archive: May, 1988

THE MANDATE

SUDAN TIMES

mandate

THE MANDATE

 

 

[this piece tries to capture the atmosphere of mistrust, back stabbing and political horse-trading that characterized relations during the ‘third democracy’ (1986-89) between Saddiq al-Mahdi of the Umma Party and his junior coalition partner Mohamed Othman al-Merqani’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sadiq’s brother-in-law the wily Hassan al-Turabi leader of National Islamic Front (NIF). At the time of writing Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi was seeking a wider mandate to allow him to govern more effectively]  

 

Something very serious must have happened to my mandate. For no reason at all, it suddenly stopped functioning. I checked the electric wires and all the other connections. But they all seemed to be in perfect order. I still thought it would be no big sweat to fix it. It had malfunctioned twice last year but somehow I managed to patch it up. I could do the same this time. I got the-user’s manual and went through all the complicated circuits. I pressed a button here and a lever there but to no avail. The damned mandate just sat there blankly staring at me with the reels static and the executive lights unblinking. I tried to shift from manual to auto and from auto to manual. Nothing seemed to work.

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