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Sudan’s committee on constitutional amendments cancels meeting

National Assembly building (File photo Getty)
February 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The emergency committee for constitutional amendments pertaining to scrapping presidential term limit has abruptly cancelled its meeting scheduled for 17 February.

In a press release, the committee said the meeting was cancelled for emergency reasons, saying a new date would be fixed at a later time.

Last December, 294 Sudanese lawmakers representing 33 political parties introduced a bill to amend the constitution to allow President Omer al-Bashir to run for a third term in 2020 elections.

Al-Bashir’s term ends in 2020 and he couldn’t run for office again according to the constitution.

Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, with demonstrators holding nationwide rallies calling on al-Bashir to resign.

The government said 31 people have died in the violence, while other credible reports including from Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.

Also, dozens of demonstrators have been injured and hundreds arrested during the protests.

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, the Sudanese president 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.

Also, 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”

However, last September he openly declared his readiness for the elections after his nomination for the party’s candidate by the ruling National Congress Party Shura (Consultative) Council.

(ST)