Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir ‘will seek re-election’

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir will stand for re-election next year, an aide says, despite previous claims that he would quit after 25 years in power.

He was chosen ahead of four other candidates by the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) decision-making council, Ibrahim Ghandour said.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted him for genocide in the Darfur region. He denies the charges.

Critics say Mr Bashir, 70, leads one of Africa’s most repressive regimes.

He seized power in a coup in 1989, and has won three elections since then.

Supporters of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir hold his pictures as they wait to greet him at Khartoum airport on 14 November 2012Mr Bashir has a loyal following in Sudan’s ruling party

In 2011, NCP official Rabie Abdelati said he could “confirm, 100%” that Mr Bashir would not contest the 2015 election.

Opposition parties and analysts cast doubts on the statement at the time, saying it was probably aimed at diffusing an uprising similar to that seen against other long-serving Arab rulers in Africa.

Mr Ghandour, the NCP’s vice-president, said Mr Bashir won the party’s nomination with “266 out of 522” votes at a meeting of its national convention, the AFP news agency reports.

The African Union (AU) has backed Mr Bashir in his rejection of The Hague-based court’s indictment.

It argues that as a serving head of state, he enjoys presidential immunity.

Sudan does not recognise the court.

Close