Sudan’s al-Bashir accepts nomination for president in 2020 election


President Omer al-Bashir waves during a rally in Nyala town in South Darfur on December 29, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

August 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir accepted his nomination by the Shura (Consultative) Council of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) for the party candidate for the presidential elections in 2020 even though the country’s constitution limits a president to two terms.

“I want to thank the party’s leadership and members for placing your confidence in my humble person. This is a great trust and responsibility. It is my honour and privilege to accept this confidence,” said al-Bashir in his acceptance speech at the closing session of the Shura Council on Saturday evening.

He further said the Consultative Council’s meetings were marked by serious and objective discussions “because our responsibility is great … we are responsible for the country and its security and welfare”.

Al-Bashir, in his acceptance speech, didn’t allude to the debate outside or within the ruling party over his nomination for a third term as it requires to amend the Sudanese constitution now after changing the NCP’s constitution.

On Thursday, the NCP Shura abolished presidential term limits, paving the way for al-Bashir to stay in power for a third term.

Several voices inside the NCP including Ain Hassan Omer expressed their opposition for the move and called to refrain from endorsing decisions that are against the party statute and the state constitution.

The Sudanese opposition rejected the nomination of the incumbent president for a third term et vowed to participate in the upcoming elections, after signing a peace agreement, if the ruling party nominate another candidate.

The Washington based advocacy group Enough Project denounced the move saying it paves the way for al-Bashir to be a” president-for-life”.

Enough Project Director John Prendergast called on the United States and the European Union countries to stand against President’s al-Bashir efforts to abolish term limits as they did for the President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For his part, Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, underlined that al-Bashir, who has occupied the position since 1989’s coup d’état, “is a fugitive of the ICC and wants to remain in power for life to avoid accountability, and to continue his atrocities and feed the violent kleptocracy that supports his regime”.

At the end of its meetings, the Shura Council authorized the Leadership Office to make the necessary amendments to the NCP Statute and to review the whole regulations related to the re-election of the President.

Al-Bashir reiterated the government’s commitment to continue its efforts to achieve peace in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.

He pointed out that Darfur has become safe thanks to the collection of weapons and the cooperation of its residents. However, he pointed out that quantities of weapons are still “hidden” and called to hand it over to the army.

(ST)