Sudan Constitution amendment on hold

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A parliamentary committee tasked with amending Sudan’s constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another term said it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft changes, state news agency SUNA said.

The move comes amid almost daily street protests since mid-December, initially sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages, against Bashir’s nearly 30-year rule.

SUNA cited “special emergency commitments” as the cause for the delay without providing further details.

A majority of lawmakers backed the proposed amendment two weeks before protests broke out and tasked an emergency committee to draft the changes ahead of the parliament’s first session in April.

Bashir, an Islamist and former army officer, came to power after a military coup. He won elections in 2010 and 2015 after changes in the constitution following a peace agreement with southern rebels, who then seceded to form South Sudan.

He is now facing unprecedented opposition to his rule, with street protests involving hundreds of people almost every day.

Elections are expected to be held in the spring of 2020.