After almost quarter of a century in power, Sudan’s President Omar El Bashir has announced he will not seek a fresh term of office.
President Bashir, who came to power in a bloodless coup d’etat in June 1989, said in an interview published in major daily newspapers in Khartoum and in Qatar’s Al shrooq that he will not stand as candidate for the ruling party in the 2015 presidential elections.
“Twenty … something…. years in (power)… this is more than enough in the current circumstances Sudan is facing. Sudanese people want fresh blood and a new impetus to continue their march,” President Bashir was Wednesday quoted as saying in the interview.
PANA reports that Khartoum daily newspapers, including Al Rae al Am and Al Sahafa, published the full text of the interview with the Qatari based al shrooq on Wednesday.
Since coming to power, President has been re-elected at least three times, including in 2010 which preceded the secession of South Sudan.
In all previous elections, President Bashir had insisted he did not want to stand for the post, but that the ruling party convinced him to contest.
However, on Wednesday the party – for the first time – said it was considering a candidate for the next presidential elections.
The official Sudan news agency, SUNA, quoted the ruling National Congress Party as saying that it has no difficulty coming with a new candidate for the job.
The agency quoted the Head of the Organizational Sector in the party, Mr. Hamid Siddiq, as having “denied the party is facing difficulties choosing a successor for the president of the republic to stand the coming presidential elections”.
He said ”our party is full of leaders at both the federal and state levels.”
Meanwhile, President Bashir has said he expects his country’s economy to improve as a result of the cooperation agreements signed with South Sudan, including resumption of exportation of South Sudan oil via Sudanese territories.
He said the dividends would not be only that of oil revenues but “even the stability and peace between the two countries will have a huge positive impact on the economy of the Sudan ad well as that of South Sudan.”
He alleged that Israel continued to support all rebellion against the Sudanese government, adding that his country would not normalise its relations with Israel.
On relations with the US, President Bashir said:“It is not in our interest to have tense relations with the United States of America,” arguing that it was the Americans who have failed to honor pledges they made concerning the lifting of economic sanctions and the removal of Sudan from the list of states considered by the USA as sponsors of terror.
“We no longer have any trust in the American promises, though we were optimistic about Obama second term and with the presence of a secretary of state who has an independent character, there is a possibility (of improvement) but we do not relay much on that,” President Bashir was quoted as saying.