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Sudan’s Al-Bashir to change constitution to run for a third term

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the joint Sudan and Saudi Arabia air force drill in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the joint Sudan and Saudi Arabia air force drill in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Sources close to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have confirmed to MEMO that President Omar Al-Bashir plans to make changes to the existing constitution to permit him to stand for office for a third term.

Under the current constitution, the president’s second and final term is set to end in 2020. Although, it was widely expected that he would step down from office, sources have revealed that NCP is planning to bring forward a proposal to review and rewrite the constitution to allow the president to run for a third term.

The speculation over the attempts to change the constitution and re-install the president for another term has led a leading daily morning newspaper, run by the opposition Democratic Unionist Party, to declare the results of a readership survey. In it, 76 per cent said they were against the idea of the president running for another term of office.

Despite the review of the constitution not being required until after 2020, it is understood that lawmakers will be asked to bring forward the redrafting of the constitution to include the controversial three term amendment that will allow Al-Bashir to stand again.

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Al-Bashir has been in power since 1989 when his revolutionary council overthrew the government of Sadiq Al-Mahdi. Since then Sudan has had two constitutions: one written in 1998 which allowed political parties to be formed and take part in elections and the other came into effect following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The third constitution under discussion follows the national dialogue process which brought opposition parties into government and led to an agreed roadmap to govern the country providing greater political freedoms and a more equitable distribution of economic wealth.

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