Sudan’s Bashir launches reelection bid: Poll organisers

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir submitted his candidacy Sunday for reelection in an April 13 vote widely expected to hand him another five-year term, poll organisers said.

The election will be only the second since Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for suspected war crimes in Darfur, seized power in a 1989 coup.

The opposition boycotted the first polls in 2010, which observers said failed to meet international standards, and it has threatened to do so again.

“Today we started accepting applications” by would-be candidates for the presidential and parliamentary elections, National Electoral Commission member Al-Hadi Mohamed Ahmed told reporters.

“Until now, we have received the nomination of Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir for the presidency of the republic,” he said.

Applications will be approved by the electoral body at an unspecified date.

Bashir’s candidacy was submitted by a committee made up of political, religious, sporting and cultural figures backing his reelection bid, including members of his ruling National Congress Party.

“Today the national committee submitted the nomination,” NCP political secretary Hamed Mumtaz said.

It is unclear whether the 71-year-old incumbent will face any serious challengers.

The opposition has demanded that the election be postponed to give time to create a more suitable political climate, warning that otherwise it will not take part.