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Sudan’s newly-appointed ministers to be sworn in tonight

Sudanese Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal [File photo]
Sudanese Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal [File photo]

Newly appointed ministers of Sudan’s National Consensus Government are expected to be sworn into office at the presidential palace today following yesterday’s press briefing announcing the names of ministers and parliamentarians, the information minister confirmed.

Ahmed Bilal Osman, who retains his position as minister of information in the new government, confirmed that 31 ministers and 44 secretaries of state would take the oath of office (20:00 Khartoum local time) in front of the nation’s President, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

Yesterday’s declaration came after a delay of two months and was announced by Bakri Hassan Saleh, the first vice president and the head of the government who was appointed by Al-Bashir to a newly-created position of prime minister on 3 March.

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Saleh explained that the delay was due to the lengthy consultation process with participants in the national dialogue process; more than 1,500 nominees were put forward for ministerial positions. He said to accommodate the participants in the dialogue process the number of state ministers have been increased from 31 to 44.

Among the new appointees, the Popular Congress Party (PCP) has been given two ministers: Idris Suliman Youssef became minister of international cooperation and Musa Mohammed Karama was appointed minister of industry.

Mubarak Al-Fadil, the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), was appointed minister of investment and the former presidential candidate, Hatim Al-Sir Ali from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), was given the post of minister of trade.

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However, there were few changes to the presidential advisor positions, Vice-President Hasabo Abdel Rahman and four presidential assistants were retained including former Prime Minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi’s son, Abdel Rahman.

Two presidential advisors, Galal Al-Dugair Youssef and Tijani al Sese, the head of the Liberation and Justice Movement based in Darfur, left the government. Al-Sese had been tipped to take a created position of deputy prime minister which did not materialise.

The new cabinet is a culmination of a two year national dialogue process in which over 80 political parties and prominent individuals contributed and is expected to begin work on the recommendations of the dialogue and to pave the way for a replacement of Sudan’s 2005 constitution.