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Sudan’s new Prime Minister sets peace and economy as top priorities

August 23 - 2019 KHARTOUM
The swearing-in ceremony of Abdallah Hamdouk, new Prime Minister of Sudan, August 21 (SUNA)
The swearing-in ceremony of Abdallah Hamdouk, new Prime Minister of Sudan, August 21 (SUNA)

On Wednesday evening, Dr Abdallah Hamdouk was sworn in as Prime Minister before Lt. Gen Abdelrahman El Burhan, Chairman of the newly established Sovereign Council, and Chief Justice Abbas Babiker in Khartoum. The veteran economic expert said his programme will be based on the slogan of the December Revolution: “Freedom, Peace, and Justice”.

In a press conference after the ceremony, Hamdouk called the uprising which started in December last year and led to the removal of the regime of President Omar Al Bashir in April as “the greatest revolution” in the country.

Hamdouk outlined his programme, based on "Freedom, Peace, and Justice", during the upcoming 39-months of interim rule. His first priority is putting an end to the wars in the country. Addressing the economic crisis in the country will be his second priority. He said he hopes to build an economy based on production and not on grants and donations, emphasising that Sudan is a rich country.

“The Sudanese economy is strong in size,” he said. “I believe that with the right vision and policies, we shall be able to address this economic crisis. We shall work with a reform plan to address the issues of inflation, the provision of fuel and medicines, and in the long term we hope to concentrate on productivity.”

Equality

Building a state of law, with transparency and justice for all, and fighting corruption are other pillars of his government's programme, in addition to adopting “a moderate foreign policy that will put Sudan's interests first”.

The new Prime Minister called for cooperation by all Sudanese to develop a pluralistic democratic system in which differences are respected. “Since the dawn of independence [on January 1, 1956], Sudan has not succeeded in creating a national project that unites everyone. Let us agree how to govern Sudan and we leave the question of who rules Sudan to its great people”.

Women should be treated fairly. They deserve to be represented in the upcoming government. - Hamdouk

He said that women who were one of the driving forces behind the revolution, have been marginalised during the negotiations between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). Women should be treated fairly. They deserve to be represented in the upcoming government.

As for the reservations of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, a coalition of armed movements) and the National Forces Coordination regarding the contents of the Constitutional Declaration and the way the Sovereign Council was formed, Hamdouk replied that these are challenges usually faced during the transition to democracy.

“We must learn to look at the matters we have in common,” he said, and explained that though the FFC nominated him for the post of Prime Minister, he should be seen, after the oath, as “Prime Minister for all Sudanese, with their different views and backgrounds”.

He added that he considers the climate “conducive to dialogue and agreement. [..] We can reach the safe side if we manage our differences well”.

Cabinet

According to the time schedule agreed on by the TMC and FFC, the Prime Minister will announce the -technocrat- members of his Cabinet on August 28. The first Cabinet meeting is to take place on August 31.

Hamdouk pointed out that the criterion of efficiency will guide his choice of the ministers. He said he will deal strictly with the list op nominees proposed by the FFC, which includes three possible candidates for each post.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN Security Council and the Sudan Troika (USA, UK, and Norway) welcomed the establishment of a civilian-led government in Sudan, and the inauguration of the Sovereign Council and the new Prime Minister.

 


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