Sudan's al-Bashir retires from army position to run for elections
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attends the opening of the African Union (AU) summit in Sirte, about 600km (370 miles) east of Tripoli, July 1, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced on Monday that he retired from the office of the commander in chief of the Sudanese armed forces.
The surprising step will facilitate him to run for the upcoming general elections scheduled for April this year, local observers believed.
"Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir exempt himself from the post of the commander-general of the Armed Forces today," a presidential decree issued in the name of al-Bashir read.
The decision came only several hours following 20 Sudanese parties agreed to select al-Bashir as their candidate for the post of president of the country to run in the general elections.
The Sudanese law prohibits any member of the regular military forces to join political parties and organizations or to exercise political activities.
The Sudanese National Election Committee (NEC) on Monday announced that the process of submitting nomination applications for the candidacies of the president of the country will start on Tuesday.