Khartoum(ANN)-The ruling party of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has nominated him for a new term in next year’s elections, in spite of weeks of anti-government protests calling for his resignation.

The Popular Congress Party (BCP) announced the move yesterday, ignoring more than three weeks of anti-government protests demanding Al-Bashir step down from the presidency. The BCP added that the country’s leadership would only be changed through elections, which are slated to be held in 2020.

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Al-Bashir yesterday arrived in Nyala, in the state of South Darfur in the southwest of the country, where he was greeted by thousands of his supporters. Addressing the crowd, Al-Bashir said: “The country’s enemies did not like stability in Sudan and wanted to continue the war in Darfur, so they sought, with a few of their supporters at home, to sabotage, loot and steal.”

Al-Bashir admitted that Sudan faces economic difficulties, but stressed that these “cannot be solved with theft and vandalism”.

Sudan has been rocked by anti-government protests since December. According to official Sudanese data, these violent protests have led to the death of 24 people, though opposition groups say the death toll has reached more than 40 people.