December 20, 2014 / 5:02 PM / in 4 years

Sudan postpones April elections by 11 days: elections committee

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Nationwide elections slated for April 2 will now be held on April 13, the head of Sudan’s elections committee said on Saturday, in a move seen as preventing legal confusion over a constitutional amendment.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir proposed a constitutional change on Nov. 3 to make state governors appointed positions rather than elected ones, but the alteration only becomes legally valid 60 days from that date.

Postponing the election allows for the state governor positions to be removed from the forthcoming poll before the new nomination period starts on Jan. 11.

Mokhtar al-Assam, the elections head, did not mention the constitutional issue in comments to Reuters, but said: “The postponement came for very important reasons that we will announce tomorrow.”

Sudan’s ruling National Congress party last month chose Bashir, wanted on charges of genocide by the International Criminal Court, as its candidate for the presidential vote, making it almost certain that he will extend his rule after 25 years in power.

The opposition Popular Congress party has said it will boycott the election because of what it sees as a restrictive political climate.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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