, KHARTOUM, Jan 12 – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced on Monday that he is stepping down as head of the army in accordance with electoral law so that he can stand for re-election in April polls.
"President Bashir has relinquished his functions as chief of the armed forces. He will also retire as an officer," his spokesman Emad Said Ahmed told AFP, adding that the president had not yet named named a successor as army chief.
Bashir has held the post since June 1989, after overthrowing the democratically elected government of Sadeq al-Mahdi in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.
April\’s elections will be Sudan\’s first multi-party poll since the vote that brought Mahdi to power in 1986.
According to Sudan\’s 2007 law on political parties, party members cannot also be in the army, judges or diplomats.