3 December 2013

Sudan: Bashir Thanks Ministers Before Announcing New Cabinet

Khartoum — The Sudanese president, Omer Al-Bashir, has thanked his cabinet ministers and state's ministers for their participation in the broad base government prior to announcing the new cabinet formation.

Bashir, who addressed the cabinet extraordinary session on Tuesday, expressed appreciation for efforts exerted by ministers and state's ministers to improve performance in the previous period, stressing that cabinet reshuffle was not driven by poor performance but necessity for change.

The president demanded the ministers to continue carrying out their responsibilities until the new cabinet is announced.

The leadership office of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is expected to approve the new cabinet in its periodic meeting on Wednesday and announce it on Thursday.

However influential government sources told Sudan Tribune that the presidency is continuing consultations on the upcoming cabinet change describing it as "major".

The same sources predicted that the new cabinet wouldn't be announced on Tuesday and pointed that it may take another three or four days.

It stressed that senior government officials, including the presidential assistant, Nafie Ali Nafie, and the minister of electricity and dams, Osama Abdallah, expressed desire not to hold any executive position, pointing that the final decision would be made by president Bashir.

According to the sources; NCP's secretary of foreign relations, Ibrahim Ghandour, is the frontrunner among the three candidates for the position of the minister of foreign affairs.

Bashir didn't yet make the decision to resolve the government, a move that would be made in conjunction with the announcement of the new cabinet.

The council of ministers spokesperson, Omer Mohamed Salih, told reporters following the meeting that Bashir affirmed to ministers that they have carried out their work in harmony and with high sense of responsibility which enabled them to make many accomplishments in difficult domestic, regional, and international circumstances.

DUP PARTICIPATION

In the same context, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman Al-Merghani confirmed its participation in the new government despite objection from large segments of its constituency and leaders.

The state's minister at the ministry of agriculture, Jaafar Ahmed Abdalla, who is also a prominent DUP leader, said that their participation in the new government would be based on national agenda and to meet the challenges facing the country.

He told the official news agency SUNA that the DUP doesn't seek to gain government posts but aims to serve national issues on top of which are peace and security.

Abdalla said that differences within the DUP on participation in the government come at a time when the country is facing great dangers and in need for political and economic reform, pointing out that those issues don't belong to the NCP alone but all political parties.

The DUP leader, Mohamed Osamn Al-Merghani, has recently refused to accept the resignation of a leading figure in the block which objects to joining the government, Hassan Abu Sabeeb, but the later held a news conference on Tuesday and called upon Al-Merghani not to join the new government and to cancel political partnership with the NCP.

He said that those who join the government represent themselves not the DUP and its constituency, asserting that the decision to join the current government was made without consulting with the party's competent bodies.

The DUP sealed a political partnership with the NCP in December 2011 and was granted several posts in the cabinet. At the time, Al-Mirgahni went against the dominant opinion of his party saying the different regional conflicts pose a threat to the national unity and territorial integrity.

Abu Sabeeb who was seen a NCP figure in the past further said that they would continue mobilising DUP constituency against joining the new government even if names of DUP ministers appeared in the new cabinet.

"The current mobilisation reflects the position of the DUP's constituency including the students, farmers who categorically refuse to join the government", he added.

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