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Sudan’s Al Bashir accepts nomination to serve third presidential term

August 12 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir
Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir

President Omar Al Bashir has accepted nomination for a third term, and will run as candidate for Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party in the 2020 elections – a move that will require amendments to the Sudanese constitution.

On Thursday, the National Shura Council of the National Congress Party (NCP) meeting in Khartoum approved Al Bashir as its presidential candidate, in spite of a restriction to two terms by Sudan’s constitution.

Speaking at the closing session of the NCP advisory council on Saturday, Al Bashir accepted nomination, thanking the party’s leadership for their confidence.

Al Bashir’s nomination for a third terms follow amendments made by the NCP to its own constitution, but will now require amendments to the constitution of Sudan, which limits any individual to two terms as president, to be passed by parliament.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported that the council approved amendments in its basic statute and amended article (36) of those who assume organisational tasks.

According to this amendment, the National Shura Council has approved Al Bashir as its candidate for 2020, and “directed the concerned organs to adopt the required procedure for implementing this decision”.

The amendments also included increasing the percentage of women’s participation in NCP organs from 25% to 30%.

Opposition

The amendments have met with criticism from both within the ruling party and the opposition.

Responding to what effectively opens the door to Al Bashir being president for life, Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project advocacy group based in Washington said: “Bashir and his cronies changed the constitution of the ruling party paving the way for him to stand for another term in 2020. Bashir, who has occupied the position since 1989, 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...”

The project points out that it is anticipated that the NCP will table a resolution to amend Sudan’s constitution to remove the current two-term limit as Parliament returns from its current recess in October. The resolution would easily pass given the NCP and allied satellite parties’ automatic majority.


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