Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir’s party scraps term limits to allow him extend his 31 year rule

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Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has amended its constitution to allow President Omar Al-Bashir 74, to stand as its candidate in the 2020 elections.

Al-Bashir who came to power through a coup d’état in June 1989 will have ruled Sudan for 31 years by the year 2020.
In March 2012, al-Bashir said he wouldn’t seek his re-election in April 2015 but he ran and won in an election that was boycotted by the major opposition parties.
In August 2016, he said “I’m not a dictator and I don’t want to cling to power. I won’t run for another term, my term will end by 2020 and I won’t be able to run again according to the constitution and the constitution won’t be amended”.

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However, his party made the announcement [amending the constitution ] late Thursday after its consultative council, the Shura, adopted the amendment unanimously.
The chairman of the Shura Council, the party’s legislature, Prof Kabashor Kuku, confirmed that NCP has abolished its two-term limit for a presidential candidate.
“After long consultations among the elected consultative council members, we have come to a consensus to nominate President Omar Al-Bashir for another term,” he said.

The amendment paves the way for the party to seek to change the Sudanese Constitution that allows a president to only serve a maximum of two five-year terms.
November last year, Osama Tawfiq , a member of the Reform Now Movement (RNM) Leadership Council told Sudan Tribune “Al-Bashir wouldn’t agree to be a former president, he is either be a sitting president or a late president,” he said.

“As long as al-Bashir continues to be wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), he wouldn’t allow anyone to run for presidency because no matter who that person is he might hand him over to the tribunal,” he added.
Tawfiq said the ICC decision has paved the road for al-Bashir to rule “forever”, saying the international community seeks to maintain the status quo in Sudan to serve its own interests.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

Speaking before large crowds in the Gazira State in central Sudan late last year, al-Bashir said he is ready to support the candidacy of the governor of Gezira State Mohamed Tahir Eila for the presidency in 2020.

However, Eila was quick to respond to al-Bashir’s gesture by announcing his full support for the latter’s reelection in 2020. Also, during the visit to Gazira State, al-Bashir received a document titled “covenant and charter” signed by the Gazira State people supporting his running for office in 2020.

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