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Hamdok delays formation of Sudan’s transitional government

August 28, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok agreed with the ruling coalition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) on Wednesday to postpone the formation of his transitional cabinet for 48 hours, as he expressed some reservations over some nominees and women under-representation.

Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference, in Khartoum on August 21, 2019 (AFP Photo)Hamdok had said he would not endorse systematically the lists of FFC nominees and would discuss it with the coalition to have a competent and efficient government team that works in harmony with him.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, the office of the Prime Minister said that it was "agreed with the forces of the FFC to review the lists of nominees for ministerial portfolios and specialized councils according to a specific timetable."

In line with the implementation matrix agreed between the junta and the FFC coalition, the announcement of the new government should have been intervened on August 28, and the cabinet will hold its first meeting on 1 September.

An FFC leading member, Nur al-Din Salah al-Din told Sudan Tribune that the delay of the government was at the request of the Prime Minister, who said he needed more time to study the lists of nominations.

He said that the FFC submitted a long list of nominees, three minimum to each ministry, so it is important to allow the Prime Minister to study and make his choices between them.

"I think that the prime minister has expressed reservations on lists related to at least two ministries in addition to one of the councils. This means that the Forces for Freedom and Change will put forward other nominees or will hear to candidates made by the prime minister if he has some people to propose to fill these posts."

He further underscored that the prime minister wants a homogeneous and highly efficient team to manage the difficult files that his government will face during the coming period before to point out that the delay in the formation is not worrying.

"I don’t think the delay will last longer because there are no differences between the FFC and the prime minister, it is only a process of seeking the best that can be made as a government to the Sudanese people," he stressed.

In a statement on Tuesday, Hamdok said he would meticulously scrutinize all the nominees, and pointed to the under-representation of women stressing he would "take into account a fair representation of women".

According to the FFC list of nominees, there were only three eligible women for the ministry of justice, ministry of social development and ministry of labour and livestock and fisheries.

Also, sources close to the file say the FFC cells in some ministries reject the whole lists of nominees and made their proposals.

According to the handwritten draft of the list of nominees, the candidates have been picked and prioritized after the vote made by the representatives of the large coalition.

The FFC nominated 63 candidates, 49 for the 14 ministerial portfolios and 14 for the four councils.

The 14 ministries are: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Social Development and Labour, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.

The four national councils are Federal and Local Governing Council, Culture and Media Council, Higher Education and Scientific Research Council, Council of Religious Affairs.

The militaries have to nominate the Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior and the head of the General Intelligence Service.

(ST)