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Sudan: Ruling party chooses Bashir as candidate for 2020 election

Omar al-Bashir had previously said he would step down when his second and final term ends in 2020.

Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has backed President Omar al-Bashir as its candidate for the 2020 election, state media reports.

The party's advisory council announced Bashir as NCP's candidate after an overnight meeting held in Khartoum, the official SUNA news agency reported on Friday.

The council said it has endorsed Bashir for a third term after long consultations among the party's leadership, even though the country's constitution allows for only two five-year terms.

The veteran leader has been in power since a 1989 military coup but has only faced contested elections since the new constitution went into effect in 2010.

The 74-year-old was first elected to office in 2010 and his second term ends in 2020.

Bashir had previously said he would step down in 2020.

The Sudanese president in 2017 appointed a top aide, Bakri Hassan Saleh, as prime minister, reinstating a post he abolished after coming to power in 1989.

Saleh was among the officers who launched the bloodless coup almost 30 years ago, and the last member of the group to remain at Bashir's side.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of war crimes in Darfur.

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