Sudanese President Bashir names long-time ally as new Prime Minister

Mar 2, 2017 12:17 IST

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudanese President appointed Vice President Hassan Saleh as the new Prime Minister of Sudan on 1 March 2017.

Saleh’s nomination was approved by President Bashir himself at a party leadership meeting chaired by him. This appointment makes Saleh Sudan’s first Prime Minister ever since Bashir took over in 1989 following an Islamist and military-backed coup.

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Key highlights

• Saleh was sworn in on 2 March 2017. He is now faced with the task of forming his new cabinet.

• He will continue to hold his position of the country’s Vice President.

• The position of Prime Minister was created, following an amendment in Sudan’s constitution in December 2016 on the demand of the opposition parties.

• The opposition parties of Sudan during a national dialogue with the government demanded for the creation of the new post with the aim of distributing some of the President’s powers.

• Though Bashir agreed to the proposal and introduced the new post, he reserved most executive authority for himself.

About Hassan Saleh

• Saleh is a retired army general. He took part in the June 1989 military coup that brought Bashir to power. In fact, he is the last member from the group of officers in the coup to remain on Bashir’s side.

• He has previously held several prominent positions in the Sudanese security agencies including that of the Director of the National Security Service, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Minister of Defense.

• He was appointed as the Deputy Secretary-General of the Islamic Movement in 2012 and as the First Vice President of Sudan in December 2013.

• He is now being seen as a possible successor to Omar al-Bashir, especially if the president sticks to his promise of not contesting in the 2020 elections.

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Sudan’s crises

• The country’s government has been embroiled in a long war against various rebel groups.

• Sudan is also undergoing a severe economic crisis, especially since south Sudan broke away from it in 2011 taking with it three-quarters of its oil output, which was the main source of the country’s income.

• The country’s budget this year foresees a growing deficit and slower growth.

• Omar al-Bashir is the first sitting president to be wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

 

 

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