Bashir says he is leaving Sudan presidency

March 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, March 20 (UPI) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, in an interview published Wednesday, said he will not be a candidate in the next election in 2015.

Bashir, who has been president since he led a 1989 military coup, told the Qatari newspaper Al Shraq that Sudan needs "fresh blood," the Sudan Times reported. He said the National Congress Party will name a new leader at its conference next year to be the candidate in 2015.

"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."

Bashir did not talk about the two operations he has had recently or about war crimes charges brought against him by the International Criminal Courts. But he made it clear he does not intend to be a candidate for president, saying he has "had enough."

"We spent more than 20 years and this is more than enough," he said. "Sudanese people are looking for fresh blood and a new impetus in order to continue on what we have begun."

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