Sudan: Questions and Challenges Before and After the Government Formation

There are questions and challenges surrounding the transitional period since the previous government, and they will remain on the table even after the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

 A word of Altaghyeer

The delay in declaring the new ministerial formation in Sudan reflects a deep root crisis in the transitional period. Because the reason for the delay is disagreements over each political party’s share of power. And here it becomes crystal clear that the essence of the crisis is the preoccupation of the dominant political class in the struggle over who should rule Sudan. Instead of focusing on answering the historical dilemma that has been challenging the country since its independence: How to govern Sudan? The strategic goal of the transitional period must be preparing Sudan for democratic transition through specific measures, some of which are detailed in the “constitutional charter” and others are absent from the charter or inconsistent with it. This matter requires strong political will and the people’s pressure to develop the charter and address its defects.

But down to the minimum permitted by the current balance of power, which produced the current power partnership between the civilian and military components of the transition administration, very important questions arise about the details of the program by which the new government will govern, around which fierce conflicts and battles over positions are revolving. What is its plan to stop the economic crisis and respond efficiently and decisively to end the living distress that is crushing citizens? What is its plan to aid health, education, environmental health, water and electricity services? What is its plan to deal with companies in the military and security sectors that are not under the authority of the Ministry of Finance, which stands as a major obstacle to economic reform, investment and development support?

What is its plan to fight the “counter-revolution” that is actively sabotaging the economy, security and social structure and hindering any step towards achieving the goals of the “December revolution”? What is its plan to implement peace and create the constitution? What is its plan for transitional justice, human rights, and legal reform?

What about civil service reform, fighting corruption, and recovering public funds? All the way to preparing the political scene for free and fair elections at the end of the transitional period.

Mandatory duties

These are the most important responsibilities of the transitional government, and according to what the constitutional charter states, independent commissions must be established to implement these important provisions for the democratic transition. So far, these commissions have not been formed, nor has the Transitional Legislative Council. Does the “Forces of Freedom and Change” that nominates Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Hamdok, the list from which his government is chosen, has an objective evaluation of the performance of the previous government and the reasons for its failure in many files? Is the FFC aware of the danger that all this time of the transitional period will pass in the absence of Parliament? And then the absence of the role of legislation, supervision, and accountability for a period that is supposed to lay the foundation for a democratic transition?

Did it choose the new ministers on the basis of competence or purely partisan quotas? Unfortunately, the quota approach is the eminent feature of the upcoming ministerial formation that comes in implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, which provides for the allocation of ministerial and sovereign seats to the military and political factions that signed it, and also stated the extension of the transitional period as its period begins to be calculated (39 months) starting from the date of signing the agreement (October 3, 2020) instead of starting from the date of the signing of the constitutional document (August 17, 2019), and among the amendments to the constitutional charter excluding ministers and members of the Sovereignty Council from the signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement from “the prohibition of running in the general elections following the transitional period for the occupants Constitutional positions in it, ”and this exception is an explicit evidence of dealing with the transitional period with a mentality of possessing“ political rewards ”, not with a mentality of sacrifice and effort to establish a different political reality.

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