KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's main opposition parties have withdrawn from a presidential election, a senior member of one of the groups said on Thursday, a move that could wreck the vote and damage a faltering peace process.
"On the level of the candidates of the Presidency of the Republic, most of them (Sudan's opposition groups) decided to withdraw," said Mohamed Zaki, head of office for Sadeq al-Mahdi, leader of the opposition Umma party.
Zaki said only five independents and representatives of smaller parties had decided to stay in the race against incumbent President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The announcement came a day after south Sudan's leading party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) withdrew its candidate Yasir Arman from the presidential poll, protesting against irregularities and insecurity in Darfur.
Reporting by Opheera McDoom, writing by Andrew Heavens