File - Sudanese Presidential candidate, Sadiq Al-Mahdi the leader of Umma Party, talks in khartoum, Sudan, Jan.26, 2010. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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The arrest of Sudanese opposition leader Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, imprisoned on charges of treason for nearly a month, reveals a web of problems within the ruling National Congress Party, experts say.Mahdi, the leader of the National Umma Party, is a former prime minister who was ousted from government by current President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 1989 . To further complicate the situation, Mahdi's arrest comes at a delicate time for the ruling NCP. The party has been engaged in national dialogue with opposition groups, including the NUP, over the past few months in the hope of improving relations between the NCP and opposition parties. The dialogue has continued in Mahdi's absence, but the NUP has now suspended their involvement. Mahdi's oldest son, Abdel-Rahman al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, is currently acting as personal assistant to the president while his youngest, Bushra al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, is in the NISS.These close family ties with the regime, combined with his engagement in the national dialogue, have led many to question his legitimacy as an opposition figure.
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