Sadiq Al-Mahdi is a Sudanese politician and the Grand Imam of the Ansar sect of Sufi Islam. As leader of the Umma Party, he has held the office of Prime Minister of Sudan on two separate occasions, 1966-67 and 1986-89. On both occasions, his term was cut short by a civil conflict - most recently a coup d'état led by the military. He spent eleven years in exile before returning to Sudan to launch an unsuccessful presidential bid. A significant political and religious figure in modern Sudanese history, he graduated from bachelor's and master's programmes at Oxford University and has authored several books, including Democracy in Sudan Will Return and Triumph.