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NCP Shura Council adjourns discussions on al-Bashir nomination for 2020 elections

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January 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The parliament of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), the Shura Council, Saturday decided to not discuss the re-election of President Omer al-Bashir in 2020 election at this stage.

According to the Sudanese constitution and the NCP status, al-Bashir couldn’t run for office for a third mandate after the end of his current term in 2020.

However, supporters from outside and inside the ruling party launched calls to amend the constitution to allow him to run for the presidency again. While others within the party were annoyed by this inappropriate campaign but didn’t dare to stop them.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a two-day meeting, Osman Kebir the Shura Council deputy chairman, said the meeting "highly appreciated" calls for al-Bashir re-election but stressed it is too early to discuss the matter now.

"This is very a good (initiative) and it is well appreciated by the Party and its membership, but it is not the time to talk about the nomination of the president or any other person because next elections will take place within two years, and it was decided to discuss the matter at the right time."

The media was excluded from the meeting and the Shura members were requested to hand over their mobile phones to avoid any recording of the speech of President al-Bashir who addressed the meeting on Saturday.

However, unconfirmed reports said the issue of al-Bashir’s nomination was debated in the meeting as figures like Amin Hassan Omer, al-Zubair Ahmed al-Hassan and Alamin Daffallah voiced their opposition for supporting al-Bashir designation as the NCP’s candidate for the presidential election in 2020.

Speaking about what al-Bashir said in this respect, Kebir said the president confirmed the organization of "free and fair" elections on time and that a special election commission will be formed.

"The president insists that this commission should be completely neutral and does not include any politically affiliated member. Also, the role of the government should be limited to providing the necessary means to enable the Commission to perform its roles without interfering in the election," he said.

The meeting also backed the recent unpopular government’s decision to double the bread price and called to take the economic measures to support the poor families.

Kebir who is the former governor of North Darfur disclosed that al-Bashir intends to visit the IDPs camps in Darfur to encourage them to return to their areas of origins.

(ST)

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