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Sudan's Bashir not to stand in next election: party official

[ 2011-02-22 10:58]     字号 [] [] []  
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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will not stand for re-election, an official of his National Congress Party said on Monday, insisting, however, that he was "not under pressure" from the wave of protests rocking the Arab world.

"I can confirm, 100 percent, that Bashir is not going to run for president in the next election. He will actually give a chance to different personalities to compete for the position," Rabie Abdul Ati told AFP.

"But he is not under pressure... This is not in the context of the change that is happening in the Arab world. It is happening because of the political strategy of the NCP to broaden participation," he added, referring to a meeting of the ruling party's youth wing last week.

Abdul Ati's comments come amid fresh political turmoil in the Arab world, which has already unseated the presidents of Tunisia and neighboring Egypt, and is now sweeping through Libya, which also shares a border with Sudan.

Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, won a new five-year term of office in elections last April, despite being indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

He has since been charged with genocide.

They were the first multi-party polls since the 1986 election of the government that Bashir overthrew, but were marred by accusations of fraud and an opposition boycott.

A senior Sudanese opposition leader said the NCP comments about Bashir standing down at the next presidential election were directly related to the wave of popular unrest in the region.

Widespread economic and political discontent have provoked sporadic protests in north Sudan since January, but the powerful security forces have maintained tight control in the capital.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Sudan's Bashir not to stand in next election: party official

Sudan's Bashir not to stand in next election: party official

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.