Sudan opposition to nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister

The FFC and the Transitional Military Council are expected to put final signatures on the constitutional declaration on Saturday. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 August 2019

Sudan opposition to nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister

  • Sudan's sovereign council, which will be sworn in on Monday, will appoint the prime minister based on the nomination from the opposition alliance, the Forces of Freedom and Change
  • Sudan's military rulers and protest leaders on Saturday are scheduled to sign a landmark deal reached after a bloody uprising which is meant to pave the way for civilian rule

KHARTOUM: Sudan's main opposition alliance will nominate Abdalla Hamdok, an economist who has served in international institutions, to be prime minister in the country's transitional government, opposition sources said on Thursday.
The nomination is the first step towards the creation of a transitional government after the overthrow of long-time president Omar Al-Bashir in April following months of unrest.
The development comes after months of political turmoil as negotiations between the Transitional Military Council, which has ruled Sudan since April, and the opposition alliance, known as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), dragged on.
A planned new sovereign council must appoint the prime minister based on a nomination from the FFC, according to a constitutional declaration agreed on earlier this month.
The sovereign council will be formed on Sunday, according to the agreed-upon schedule, after which the Transitional Military Council will be dissolved. The appointment of the prime minister is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Hamdok, long rumoured as the FFC's pick, was last working as Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and has held positions at the International Labor Organization and the African Development Bank.
He served as an official in Sudan's Ministry of Finance in the 1980s, before the military coup that put Bashir in power.
The opposition alliance will also nominate former judge and human rights activist Mohamed Alhafiz Mahmoud as public prosecutor, opposition sources said, and Abdelqadir Mohamed Ahmed as head of the judiciary. Their appointment would also be confirmed by the sovereign council after its formation.
The FFC and the Transitional Military Council are expected to put final signatures on the constitutional declaration on Saturday at a ceremony in Khartoum with foreign dignitaries attending.
Some caution it is still too early to tell how events will unfold in the lengthy transition period required to prepare for elections after three decades of autocratic rule under Bashir.
The ceremony will officialise a constitutional declaration inked on August 4 between the country's Transitional Military Council and the opposition coalition of the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
The deal brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that saw masses mobilise against the 30-year rule of Omar Al-Bashir, who was eventually ousted in April.
The deal brokered by the African Union and Ethiopia was welcomed with relief by both sides, with protesters celebrating what they saw as the victory of their "revolution" and generals taking credit for averting civil war.
While the compromise meets several of the protest camp's key demands, its terms leave the military with ample powers and its future civilian government with dauting challenges.
With the official signing of the transitional documents on Saturday, Sudan will kick off a process that will include important immediate first steps.
The composition of the new transitional civilian-majority ruling council is due to be announced on Sunday, followed two days later by the naming of a prime minister.
The cabinet is due to be unveiled on August 28, with the newly-appointed ministers due to meet the sovereign council on September 1 for the first time.
Elections must be held after the 39-month transitional period that began on August 4.


Libya’s NOC lifts force majeure on El-Feel oilfield

Updated 8 min 47 sec ago

Libya’s NOC lifts force majeure on El-Feel oilfield

  • NOC said it expected its total oil output to reach 800,000 barrels per day within two weeks

BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corp. (NOC) said on Monday it had lifted force majeure on the El-Feel oilfield and that by doing so it had ended all the closures of oilfields and ports that resulted from an eight-month blockade by eastern forces.
NOC said on Friday it expected its total oil output to reach 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) within two weeks and 1 million bpd within four weeks after lifting force majeure on the ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.
The blockade was imposed in January by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and ended in September when he agreed to reopen oil facilities after talks with members of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
NOC has been gradually lifting force majeure in facilities where fighters no longer remained and restarting production in them.
On Sunday a first tanker in eight months docked at Al-Zawiya port and began loading, an engineer there said, after force majeure was lifted last week on Sharara, Libya’s biggest oilfield.
Al-Waha Oil Co, an NOC company, also said on Sunday a first tanker was bound for Es Sider and may dock there early on Tuesday.
Force majeure refers to unexpected external circumstances that prevent a party to a contract, in this case NOC, from meeting its obligations.