Khartoum: Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will not stand at the next election as part of a package of reforms aimed at democratising the country, a senior official of the ruling party said on Monday.
Bashir took power in a bloodless coup in 1989. In April 2010, he won Presidential Elections which many opposition parties boycotted, citing fraud.
"(Bashir) announced that he will not enter the coming elections to compete for the presidency," Rabie Abdelati, a senior National Congress Party official, said.
The next Presidential Elections are due in four years.
Bashir is the only sitting head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court, for war crimes and genocide in the war-torn Darfur region. He denies the charges.
Last week, Bashir hinted to youth members of his party that he would retire if the NCP adopted a retirement age of 60 for political posts.
The opposition belittled the move, saying the NCP was trying to head off mass protests and feared contagion from popular uprisings which have ousted the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents.
Abdelati said Bashir had also offered to step down as head of the NCP, a move he said was part of a wider strategy to democratise the country.