Facing the biggest popular protests since he came to power 30 years ago, Bashir also declared a state of emergency for one year and said he would dissolve the central government and state governments.

President Omar al Bashir is expected to deliver a speech to the nation on Friday.
President Omar al Bashir is expected to deliver a speech to the nation on Friday. (AA)

Sudan's President Omar Bashir on Friday called on parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term in a presidential election in 2020.

Facing the biggest popular protests since he came to power 30 years ago, Bashir also declared a state of emergency for one year and said he would dissolve the central government and state governments.

"I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year," Bashir said in a televised address to the nation. 

"I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels," he added.

Bashir then appointed a new prime minister, but left the country's current defence, foreign and justice ministers in place.

Sudan's intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh said Bashir will also be stepping down as the chairman of the ruling National Congress Party.

Two weeks before protests broke out, a majority of lawmakers backed proposed amendments to the constitution allowing Bashir to run for another term. But on Saturday, the parliamentary committee tasked with amending the constitution said it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes.

Ahead of Bashir's speech, security forces fired tear gas to disperse at least 200 of protesters in Khartoum, eyewitnesses said. The Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA), the main protest organizer, called for more demonstrations.

Sudan has been rocked by popular protests for the last two months, with demonstrators decrying Bashir’s failure to remedy the country’s longstanding economic woes.

Sudanese officials say around 31 people have been killed since the protests began in December, although the opposition puts the number at closer to 50.

Protesters now say they will keep up their demonstrations until Bashir steps down.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output — its main source of foreign currency — when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Source: AA