UDSF Forms a Political Party
The government in late 1998 passed a law permitting the formation of political associations; political parties as such have been banned since the coup in 1989. Riek formed a political association out of the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), his umbrella political group for ex-rebels, and resigned from the National Congress (NIF) to become leader of the UDSFP. Ali Tamim Fartak, former governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal who was defeated in the December 1997 gubernatorial elections by Riek=s candidate Charles Julu, called upon Riek to resign from the position of president of the Coordinating Council, on the grounds that he showed a Alack of trust in the NC leadership which is also the government=s leadership.@ Riek refused to resign.208
208 "South Sudanese movement to form independent party,@ AFP, Khartoum, January 8, 1999; "Sudan=s breakaway politicians urged to quit gov=t jobs,@ AFP, Khartoum, January 24, 1999; ASouth Sudan leader refuses to give up government role,@ AFP, Khartoum, January 28, 1999.