|Intro||Prime Minister of Sudan, 1966-67 and 1986-89|
25 December 1935, Omdurman, Sudan
|Politics||National Umma Party|
Sadiq al-Mahdi (Arabic: الصادق المهدي), also known as Sadiq as-Siddiq (born December 25, 1935), is a Sudanese political and religious figure who was Prime Minister of Sudan from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1986 to 1989. He is head of the National Umma Party and Imam of the Ansar, a sufi order that pledges allegiance to Muhammad Ahmad, who claimed to be the Mahdi, the messianic saviour of Islam.
Sadiq al-Mahdi was born on December 25, 1935 in Al-Abasya, Omdurman, Sudan.
He is the paternal grandson of Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, founder of the Umma party, and great-grandson of Muhammad Ahmad, the Sudanese sufi sheikh of the Ansar and self-proclaimed Mahdi who led the Mahdist War to reclaim Sudan from Anglo-Egyptian rule. He is also the paternal uncle of Sudanese-British actor Alexander Siddig.
Sadiq al-Mahdi was Prime Minister of Sudan on two occasions: first briefly in 1966-67, and second from 1986 until his ousting on 30 June 1989.
First term as Prime Minister (1966-1967)
Second term as Prime Minister (1986-1989)
In 1986, Sadiq formed a coalition government comprising the Umma Party (which he led); the National Islamic Front (led by his brother-in-law, Hassan Al-Turabi); the Democratic Unionist Party (led by Mohammed Uthman al-Mirghani al-Khatim); and four small Southern parties. On June 30, 1989, his government was overthrown in a coup led by Brigadier Omar al-Bashir. The post of Prime Minister of Sudan was then abolished.
1989 coup and afterwards
Mahdi has continued to lead the Umma Party in opposition to Bashir since being ousted in the 30 June 1989 coup d’état led by Omar al-Bashir. He spent a period in exile but eventually returned to Sudan in November 2000. He ran unsuccessfully for the 2010 presidential elections, pledging not to hand Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, arguing that it would destabilise the country.
In 2014 the government alleged that Mahdi had collaborated with rebels, and consequently Mahdi fled to Egypt. He eventually returned to Khartoum on 26 January 2017.
He is the author of a variety of scholarly and political books, including The Southern Question (1964); Speeches in Exile (1976); Questions on Mahadism (1979); Legitimate Penalties and Their Position in the Islamic Social System (1987); Democracy in Sudan: Will Return and Triumph (1990); Challenges of the Nineties (1991).
- B.Sc Philosophy and Economics Oxford University
- M.Sc. Politics Oxford University