Sudan’s President to Step Down in 2015

"I'm ready to stand down as president of Sudan by the end of 2015"
“I’ll stand down as president in 2015”

By Sudan Tribune,

Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has reiterated his intention to step at the end of his term in 2015, saying Sudan is in need of “fresh blood”.

In an interview with Qatar’s Al Shraq newspaper due to be published on Wednesday, Bashir said deliberations were now underway within the National Congress Party (NCP) to select a new presidential candidate for the next general elections.

He said the new leader will be named at NCP’s general convention next year.

Elections will be held in two years and this gives them sufficient time to choose their candidate, God willing,” he said. 

It is not about who will be the candidate, it is rather about how the NCP selects its coming leader,” he said, ruling out any possibility that the party would nominate him again for the top job.

No, we [have] had enough. We spent more than 20 years [as president] and this is more than enough. Sudanese people are looking for fresh blood and a new impetus in order to continue on what we have begun,” he said, adding that the party was well-positioned to contest the next election.

Bashir did not address rumours about his health nor the hanging arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The 68-year-old president underwent throat surgery last August in Qatar performed, which was only officially acknowledged weeks after.

He underwent a second operation in Saudi Arabia last November, with officials saying he was advised to cut down on his public appearances.

This month, he secretly flew to Saudi Arabia again for a medical checkup, according to a presidential source.

Bashir has been ruling Sudan since taking power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.

In 2009 he became the first sitting head of state to be served with an arrest warrant from the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Darfur conflict, which according to the UN, led to the death of 300,000 people and displacement of 2.7 million in 2003-2004.