: الصادق المهدي) (also known as Sadiq Al Siddiq
, born 1936) is a Sudanese political and religious figure. He is head of the National Umma Party
of the Ansar, a sufi
sect that pledges allegiance to Muhammad Ahmad
who claimed to be Islam
's messianic saviour, or the Mahdi
1966 - 1967
Sadiq al-Mahdi was Prime Minister
on two occasions: first briefly in 1966-67, and second starting in 1986.
First term as Prime Minister
A controversy erupted in the late 1970s when he armed the Darfuri Arab tribes of Messiria
and the Rizeigat
as a part of an extra-territorial military incursion into Sudan from Libya
1986 - 1989
Second term as Prime Minister
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 al-Sayyid Muhammad Othman al-Mirghani
); and four small Southern parties. On June 30 1989
, his government was overthrown in a coup led by Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir
. The post of Prime Minister of Sudan was then abolished.
During the late 1980s, the Sadiq administration, like his predecessor, failed to arrest the 50 per cent fall in the worth of the Sudanese Pound from 2 to 4 to the US Dollar.
His tenures in power were mired in instability and controversy including allegations of nepotism and disadherence to due process
During his second term, many members of Sadiq al-Mahdi's family were given prominent Ministerial roles, including Mubarak al Fadil al Mahdi, who was Interior Minister in the late 1980s, a period during which many human rights abuses have been documented. Sadiq al-Mahdi famously flouted the Sudanese constitution when he spearheaded the campaign to expel the Communist members of Sudan's parliament in the late 1960s.
Mahdi has continued to lead the Umma Party, in opposition to Bashir, since his 1989 ouster. He spent a period in exile but eventually returned to Sudan in November 2000. In July 2008, saying that Sudan faced a very difficult situation, he backed Bashir after the latter was accused of genocide by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
He is also the uncle of Alexander Siddig who is best known for playing Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
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).
He is a member of the Club of Madrid.