Khartoum — President Omar Al Bashir is expected to soon announce a new cabinet, including a reduction of the number of ministries.
On Monday, the president announced the dissolution of the National Reconciliation Government by reducing the ministries to 21 instead of 31. In addition, there is a planned reduction of the number of ministries in state localities, as a move towards political and economic reform.
In his address to the nation, Al Bashir added that the goal of this step is to form an effective and graceful government, which responds to the aspirations of the Sudanese people to live a decent life and restore hope. He explained that people's liveligood would be the top priority for the new government.
The opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) played down the need for a reduction of the ministries and the executive apparatus at the federal, state and locality levels. Administrative reforms are the most important demand, chairman Omar El Digeir said.
El Digeir, also leading member of the Sudan Call coalition, described the decisions by the president as "repeated". "The affiliates of the National Congress Party (NCP) have been exchanging positions and benefits while the crises in the country have become increasingly complicated, deep and aggravated. [...] Replacements of ministers do not resolve the country's crises."
New prime minister
The president is expected to appoint Bakri Hassan Saleh as first vice-president, Osman Mohamed Yousef Kibir as a vice-president and Moataz Mousa (formerly Minister of Electricity and Water Resources) as prime minister. He will also assign the offices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and the Presidential Affairs to perform their duties until the formation of the new government.
Some ministries are to be integrated, which would cancel some of them. Trade and Industry, for example, will be integrated. The new prime minister will announce the new cabinet within two days after completing his consultations with the national dialogue forces, Al Bashir said on Monday.
Last May, the president also reshuffled cabinet members of his party and appointed a new foreign minister after dismissing Ibrahim Ghandour. The reshuffle took place amid the ongoing fuel crisis in Sudan. In July, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS) reported that the inflation rate had risen to 63,86 per cent.
Incumbent President Al Bashir has been re-nominated to run for a third presidential term, which is not allowed under the current constitution and it is therefore expected to see an amendment soon. Al Bashir has been in power since 1989 after a military coup on an elected government.
"In 2020, there will be a new president and I will be an ex-president, God willing," he told the BBC in an interview in April 2016. His statements then repeated his declared intention to step down in 2015. But his NCP insisted he continued in office, which he did after the elections that resulted in the favour of the ruling party.