The head of Sudan’s Governing Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, told Reuters on Thursday that no firm date has been set for elections but that the military would not wait forever.
General al-Burhan, who wrecked a political transition by dissolving a civilian-led government 11 months ago, had previously hinted that elections would be held in 2023.
The takeover he oversaw halted a power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians, sparked mass protests in the streets and a standoff between the military and pro-democracy parties.
After the blockade deepened, General al-Burhan said in July the army would withdraw from political talks.
“We’re waiting, we don’t want to get involved in this political process,” General al-Burhan said in an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York when asked about an election date. “Of course we won’t wait forever,” he added.
Opponents have accused General al-Burhan of upending the democratic transition and economic opening-up following the ouster of former leader, Omar al-Bashir, in a popular uprising in 2019.
The military leadership said it took over because of political infighting between civilian parties, but the move was harshly condemned by Western powers and billions of dollars in international aid was suspended.
“If it were up to us, we would have completed the transitional obligations by now, but the civil forces and the regional and international community have been asking us to stop,” General al-Burhan said when asked about the election date.
General al-Burhan said he accepts a recent statement by his Deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, that civilians should nominate a future prime minister and head of the ruling Sovereign Council, saying it was in line with what he himself had previously said.
General al-Burhan also said an agreement to set up a Russian base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast is still under discussion and that the two countries have normal relations.
He denied recent reports that Sudanese gold was being shipped to Russia, saying only certain entities were responsible for the export. -Reuters