Sudan opposition leader calls on Bashir to resign

6 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s top opposition leader on Friday urged President Omar al-Bashir to end a state of emergency and resign, calling for widespread rallies the next day against Bashir’s 30-year rule, reports AFP.

Sadiq al-Mahdi, former prime minister and chief of Sudan’s main opposition National Umma Party, called on Bashir to dissolve all constitutional institutions and set up a 25-member council to govern Sudan.

“I call on all our people to participate in widespread rallies tomorrow, on April 6, to meet the call of their homeland,” Mahdi told worshippers during the weekly Muslim prayers, according to a statement issued by his party.

“I call on President Bashir to resign, dissolve all consitutional institutions and form a council of 25 people to govern the country,” he said.  

Mahdi also told scores of worshippers at a mosque in Omdurman, the twin city of capital Khartoum, that Bashir should end a state of emergency the president imposed in February in a bid to end protests that have rocked the country since December.

Witnesses said worshippers then staged a small demonstration outside the mosque but were quickly dispersed by police who fired teargas.

Bashir swept to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989 that toppled Mahdi’s civilian government.

Mahdi has since spent several periods in exile, but returned to Sudan in December on the same day the protests began.

Angry demonstrators have accused Bashir’s government of mismanaging the country’s economy.

Anger had been mounting for years over soaring food prices and regular shortages of fuel and foreign currency.

It spilt onto the streets on December 19 following a government decision to triple the price of bread, quickly sparking nationwide rallies against Bashir’s rule.