The Azhari government temporarily halted progress toward self-determination
for Sudan, hoping to promote unity with Egypt. Although his pro-Egyptian
NUP had won a majority in the 1953 parliamentary elections, Azhari
realized that popular opinion had shifted against union with Egypt.
As a result, Azhari, who had been the major spokesman for the
"unity of the Nile Valley," reversed the NUP's stand and supported
Sudanese independence. On December 19, 1955, the Sudanese parliament,
under Azhari's leadership, unanimously adopted a declaration of
independence; on January 1, 1956, Sudan became an independent
republic. Azhari called for the withdrawal of foreign troops and
requested the condominium powers to sponsor a plebiscite in advance
of the scheduled date.
Data as of June 1991