Sudan’s leader says election date not set

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Sudanese President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan speaks at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar

By Daphne Psaledakis

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The head of Sudan’s ruling council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, told Reuters late on Thursday that no fixed date had been set for the elections, but the military would not wait. wait forever.

Burhan, who derailed a political transition 11 months ago by dissolving a civilian-led government, previously indicated that elections would be held in 2023.

The takeover he led prevented a power-sharing agreement between the military and civilians, causing mass street protests and discord between the military and pro-democracy parties.

After the stalemate deepened, in July Burhan said the military would leave the political talks.

Burhan said in an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, when asked about an election day. “Of course we won’t wait endlessly,” he added.

Opponents blame Burhan for making the transition to democracy and opening the economy after former leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted in the 2019 uprising.

Military leaders said they took over because of political infighting between civilian parties, but the move drew harsh condemnation from Western powers and the suspension of billions of dollars in national aid. economic.

Burhan said when asked about election day: “If it were up to us, we would have completed the transitional tasks, but the regional and international civilian and community forces have asked us to stop. “.

Burhan said he accepted the recent statement by deputy prime minister Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo that civilians should name a future prime minister and the head of the ruling sovereign council, saying it was in line with what he himself said. said before.

Burhan also said an agreement to establish a Russian base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast was still being discussed and that the two countries had normal relations.

He denied recent reports that Sudanese gold was being shipped to Russia, saying that only certain entities were responsible for exports.

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