Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday declared his support for a planned presidential bid by a leading member of his ruling National Congress Party in polls slated for 2020. Al-Bashir made the assertion in an address delivered at a political rally in Sudan’s east-central Gezira State and broadcast on local television channels. "I will endorse the candidacy of Gezira State Governor Mohamed Tahir Ayla -- if he has the support of the state’s citizens -- in the upcoming election،" al-Bashir said. "Gezira State has fallen behind in development،" he added، going on to attribute this state of affairs to "disputes between certain political leaders”، who، he asserted، “don’t care about the development process”. "I chose Ayla as governor [of Gezira State] based on his ability to work hard and to push forward the service projects that the state currently lacks،" the president added. Last week، al-Bashir reiterated earlier pledges to leave office upon the expiry of his second presidential term in 2020.