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Sudan: Formation of Sovereign Council postponed

August 20 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Meeting of members of the junta and opposition in Khartoum (SUNA)
Meeting of members of the junta and opposition in Khartoum (SUNA)

The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) announced on Monday that the establishment of the Sovereign Council has been postponed for 48 hours, as requested by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

TMC spokesman Shamseldin Kabashi reported in a press conference in Khartoum on Monday morning that the “long meeting in the Republican Palace” between both parties the evening before was “characterised by a spirit of responsibility and partnership”, during which they discussed the formation of the Sovereign Council.

Each party submitted the names of five candidates for the Sovereign Council and agreed on nominee number 11. The FFC negotiation team however, said they still needed to review some of the nominees, and requested 48 hours to present the final list of their candidates.

El Kabashi said the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the timing of the formation of the announced transitional authority structures, according to the matrix attached to the Constitutional Declaration.

In early August, the ruling Transitional Military Council and the FFC agreed on a 250-page Constitutional Declaration, stipulating that a joint civil-military Sovereign Council will govern the country for 39 months after which general elections will be held. The Council will be headed by the military during the first 21 months, followed by a civilian president for the next 18 months.

The Sovereign Council will consist of 11 members: Five from the military and five civilians. The 11th member will be civilian, to be selected by both the TMC and the AFC.

Time schedule

According to the matrix, August 18 would witness the dissolution of the TMC, following the appointment of the members of the Sovereign Council. The first meeting of the Sovereign Council would convene the next day.

The appointment of the new Prime Minister is scheduled for August 20.

On August 28, the Prime Minister is to announce the members of his Cabinet who will be approved by the Sovereign Council on August 30.

The Council of Ministers will hold its first meeting on August 31, while the first joint meeting of the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers will take place in early September to mark the start of “the inclusive peace process” in the country.

Contested

The FFC reportedly nominated Mohamed El Taayshi, Hasan Sheikh Idris, Mohamed El Faki, Siddig Tawir, and Fadwa Abdelrahman, representing the people of Darfur, Kordofan, eastern Sudan, central Sudan, and northern Sudan.

The nomination of El Taayshi as independent representative of Darfur led to heated discussions between the members of the FFC.  The Sudanese Professionals Association reportedly insisted on the independence of the nominees, and protested the nomination of alternative candidate Taha Osman, a Darfuri lawyer and member of the Communist Party.

The FFC nominees for the Sovereign Council consist of four men and one woman. The FFC has as well composed a list of candidates for the Cabinet.

In response to the leaked FFC list of nominees for the ministerial posts, the Sudanese Women Union stated it regrets about the weak presence of women candidates.  

The Union said in a statement on Friday that women have not been consulted during the selection of the candidates, and pointed to the Declaration for Freedom and Change that calls for an end to all forms of discrimination and oppressive practices against women.

 


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