Sudan protest group nominates ex-UN economist for PM

16 Aug 2019 / 10:55 H.

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s protest leaders agreed Thursday to nominate former senior UN official Abdalla Hamdok as the first prime minister of the country’s three-year transition government, a statement said.

The veteran economist, who stepped down last year as deputy executive secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa, is due to be formally selected on August 20.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change protest umbrella “have agreed on the appointment of Dr. Abdalla Hamdok as prime minister,“ the statement said.

The statement was issued by the Sudanese Professionals Association, a trade union alliance which has played a big part in the protest movement.

The protest camp and a ruling military council agreed an outline power sharing accord on July 17, ahead of a landmark deal paving the way for civilian rule that is meant to be signed on Saturday.

The military council came to power by toppling long-time president Omar al-Bashir in April on the back of months of protests, but demonstrations had continued as the Alliance for Freedom and Change demanded the generals step aside.

The compromise deal to be signed in full on Saturday — after it was agreed in principle by the two sides earlier this month — mandates the protest umbrella to choose a prime minister to preside over Sudan’s political transition.

Hamdok had last year been nominated by Bashir to the job of finance minister.

But he turned the job down and stayed out of the overhauled cabinet that the autocrat set up in a bid to tackle Sudan’s dire economic crisis.

Hamdok will be appointed for the period of the transition, which is slated to last 39 months, after which elections are to be organised.

According to a UN biography, he holds a PhD from the School of Economic Studies at the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom. — AFP

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