Sudan cabinet delayed as PM Hamdok studies list of nominees

Sudan‘s hard-won transition to civilian rule has fallen further behind schedule just days after the new prime minister delayed the formation of the first government since veteran leader Omar al-Bashir was removed.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a seasoned United Nations economist who faces the daunting task of rescuing his country’s moribund economy, was supposed to unveil a cabinet on Wednesday under a post-Bashir plan.

But he is still considering the candidates, causing a knock-on delay to the first meeting between the government and the joint civilian-military ruling body overseeing the transition which was supposed to have been held on Sunday.

Hamdok, who took oath on August 21, received the nominee list from the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) umbrella protest group on Tuesday and has been mulling the candidates since then.

“The FFC was late in submitting the list of nominees to the PM which has ultimately delayed the unveiling of cabinet,” protest leader Amjed Farid told AFP news agency.

Ibrahim al-Amin, another protest leader, said the delay “is entirely the responsibility of the FFC” as there were “differences” within the group over the candidates.

On Sunday, the FFC said it held “deep and constructive discussions” with Hamdok the day before about the candidates of the transitional cabinet.

The premier has not publicly commented on the delay.

Sudan swore in a “sovereign council”, a joint civilian-military ruling body, to guide the country through a three-year transitional period nearly two weeks ago.

It is the result of a power-sharing deal formally signed on August 17 between the FFC and the military generals who seized power after ousting al-Bashir in April.

The deal stipulates a legislative body should be formed within 90 days of its signing.

The legislature should include no more than 300 members, with 201 seats allotted to the FFC.