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Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister dies of COVID-19

Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister dies of COVID-19
Sadiq al-Mahdi, Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister, died at age 84 on Thursday following complications from COVID-19. Photo by EPA-EFE

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Sadiq al-Mahdi, the last democratically elected prime minister of Sudan, died Thursday from complications related to COVID-19. He was 84 years old.

Al-Mahdi died in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates where he was receiving treatment for the coronavirus, the National Umma Party said.

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He led the Umma Party until his death after serving as prime minister twice, once during the 1960s and again from 1986 until he was overthrown in a coup in 1989.

Al-Mahdi remained a fierce critic of President Omar al-Bashir, who rose to power after al-Mahdi was forced out of office. Bashir was also overthrown in a coup last year and sentenced to two years in prison.

Earlier this year, al-Mahdi condemned U.S. President Donald Trump for brokering a deal to have Sudan begin normalizing ties with Israel. The agreement "contributes to the elimination of the peace project in the Middle East and to preparing for the ignition of a new war."

Al-Mahdi was also a descendant of the 19th-century religious leader "The Mahdi of Khartoum" and led the Ansar Sufi order, one of Sudan's largest religious groups.

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