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Bashir dissolves Sudan government, swears-in prime minister

March 3 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir gives a press conference in the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on Thursday (AFP Photo)
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir gives a press conference in the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on Thursday (AFP Photo)

The Sudanese president has dissolved his government in order to form a new government, on the same day of the swearing-in of Bakri Hassan Saleh as Sudan’s first prime minister since the post was scrapped in 1989.

President Omar Al Bashir announced the dissolution on Thursday and tasked the ministers to continue with their existing responsibilities until the formation of the National Consensus Government.

The announcement coincided with the swearing-in ceremony of Hassan Saleh at the Presidential Palace. His appointment earned the consensus of the political forces which participated in the conference of the National Dialogue which concluded its sessions in October last year. Before the appointment Hassan Saleh held the position of Sudan's First Vice President.

Al Bashir abolished the post of prime minister after the coup in 1989. The appointment falls in line with constitutional amendments proposed by the year-long National Dialogue, held between the Sudanese government, several opposition parties and civil society groups.

New Prime Minister of the National Consensus Government Hassan Saleh said that he hopes to carry out responsibilities guided by the outcome of the National Dialogue, and to form an inclusive government including all the forces that participated in the process and to achieve peace, stability and to reduce poverty.

President Al Bashir, speaking at the news conference at the Presidential Palace, promised to continuously contact the armed movements to join the dialogue efforts. “Regional and international efforts are underway to make the armed movements join the dialogue... and political forces including Imam El Sadig El Mahdi (NUP)”, he said.

'Misleading message'

A promiment member of the Popular Congress Party, an opposition party that participated in the National Dialogue, praised the appointment as the new prime minister “does not carry negative feelings towards the opposition parties”. Kamal Omer, the political secretary of the PCP, said that they would have preferred a national figure capable of ending the monopoly of power.

“We will safeguard the outputs of the National Dialogue through our participation in executive and legislative positions,” he told Radio Dabanga.

The Sudanese Congress Party said that the appointment of Bakri Hassan Saleh as the Prime Minister “represents a misleading message to the international community and pleases the new allies in the Gulf States”.

Bakri Yousif, political secretary of the opposition party, downplayed the importance of the appointment. In an interview with Radio Dabanga he said that the decision represents a clear message to the Sudanese people: “The current regime's policies that caused the economic downturn and outbreak of war in all parts of the country, will continue.”

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