The National Congress, ruling party in Sudan, confirmed the commencement of Albashir’s candidacy for a third presidential term amid wide disapproval among party’s factions, meanwhile announcing a clarion to tackle the country’s mounting economic problems.
Yousif Kibir, a top leader in the party, revealed in a media press at Khartoum on Wednesday that the candidacy of Albashir for a third term will be officially announced in the coming advisory council meeting to be assembled on Thursday August 9, 2018, indicating that the step was taken a measure to deter whom he characterized as “sedition advocates” in the party’s ranks. And he went on to clarify “we settled on Albashir’s candidacy for another term to be adopted in the advisory council’s session to block sedition, which disastrous implications, and to maintain unity within the party. And it is wise to nominate Albashir, especially after receiving inputs from all states demanding it”.
He also stated that “Albashir’s candidacy became an issue of public concern, not just our party, and it is supported by Sufi groups and public institutions, and we at our advisory council decided to nominate him”.
Kibir also announced the advancement of the general conference convention’s date to April 9, 2019 instead of December 2018.
In the meantime, a number of the party’s top leaders, including Amin Hassan Omer and Ghutbi Almahdi, openly objected to the step citing party regulations that limit the occupation of positions in the party and government to two terms only. Additionally, the measure is against the constitution, which restricted presidential terms to two consecutive terms.
But it is generally expected that the constitution will amended through parliament, where the National Congress enjoys an overwhelming majority.
The whole issue sparked arguments on social media platforms and statement wars between party leaders, with discussions centered on institutions assigned to choosing the party’s presidential nominee, who is picked by the leadership bureau. And Kibir stated that the advisory council will tend to amend party regulations to pave the way for Albashir’s nomination to another term “it is true that the party statute limits presidential terms to two, but out of necessity and considering the current circumstances we will amend the party statute and raise the number of presidential terms to three or more”. Concluding that this measure doesn’t violate party laws and regulations and isn’t a demolition to the institution “as some claim, and the advisory council has the right to discuss this important matter when it sees fit”.
On another subject, Kibir affirmed the intention of the ruling party to lead a clarion in order to tackle the country’s economic problems, after saying that “the situation isn’t rosy”, indicating that a significant portion of the advisory council’s session will dedicated to addressing people’s livelihoods.
In January 2018 the same council was assembled and the meeting’s principle theme was the economic conditions, which are rapidly deteriorating since the beginning of the year along with unprecedented spikes in commodities’ prices and dwindling value of the Sudanese pound against foreign currencies. Attendees of that meeting refused to include the candidacy of Albashir in the agenda.
The advisory council is the second highest party body, following the general conference, and it is comprised of 400 members tasked, among other functions, with the selection of the leadership bureau members.
It is worth noting Albashir came to power through the execution of a military coup planned by the National Islamic Front in June 30 1989.