KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ President Omar el-Bashir will be the ruling party’s candidate in the next presidential election in 2001, despite having many of his powers handed over to the chief ideologue in Sudan’s Islamic regime.
The ruling National Congress Party said Sunday it had decided to keep el-Bashir as its leader after a three-day conference that ended Saturday.
The conference was a virtual battleground in the power struggle between el-Bashir and Hassan Turabi, the speaker of parliament, who showed he is still the main force in the government.
El-Bashir, an army lieutenant general, came to power in 1989 in a military coup that was sponsored by Turabi and his defunct National Islamic Front. Even though el-Bashir became president, Turabi remained the regime’s ideologue and its strongman.
Despite el-Bashir’s attempts in recent years to sideline Turabi, the party granted Turabi sweeping powers to make key political decisions for the government.
After three days of meetings, the Islamic-oriented National Congress Party also re-elected Turabi as the party secretary-general, the party said in a statement.
In the absence of real opposition in the country, the National Congress Party controls almost all 360 seats in Parliament.