Sudan leader says he will step down in 2015

Mar 20, 2013, 5:20 AM EDT

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan's president says he intends to step down in 2015 after more than 20 years in power.

In an interview published in several Sudanese dailies on Wednesday, Omar al-Bashir says the people of Sudan need "fresh blood and a new impetus to continue their march." The next presidential election is due in 2015.

Al-Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup that toppled an elected government. He was last elected in 2010, a year before Sudan's southern region seceded.

Al-Bashir had in the past declared his intention to step down but his National Congress Party insisted he continued in office. However, the party said on Wednesday it was considering another candidate.

In the interview, al-Bashir said his decision not to run in the next election was "definite, God willing."