Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Sudan army protest camp sign accord on road to civilian rule

Sudanese celebrate the culmination of seven and a half months of protests that ended three decades of iron-fisted rule by president Omar al Bashir and drove the generals who replaced him to agree a transition to civilian rule Sudan factions to sign constitutional declaration August 17
Patty Aguilar | 05 August, 2019, 18:02

Sudan's pro-democracy movement has signed a power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council aimed at paving the way for a transition to civilian rule following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

A top priority for the transitional government during its first six months in power will be working toward peace with a number of armed groups active in the southern and western regions of the country, Satea al-Hajj, an FFC negotiator, said on Saturday.

However, a formal signing of the document will take place on August 17 in front of foreign dignitaries, and it is expected that the next day the composition of the new transitional government council, which will have a civilian majority, will be made public.

The deputy chairman of the military council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, confirmed the TMC's commitment to the implementation of the agreement.

According to the document, the council will be formed of 11 members, including five civilians and five from the military, while the final member will be agreed upon by both sides.

The country's prime minister will be appointed with the approval of the council on August 20, and he will be sworn in in front of the council and head of the supreme court on August 21.

It is hoped that August 20 will see the announcement of Sudan's new Prime Minister, and the Cabinet will be finalised on August 28. The Cabinet is expected to begin their work from August 31.

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Japan's foreign ministry also advised its nationals not to get involved in any trouble by staying away from protest sites. The move came after Tokyo in July tightened its export controls on semiconductor materials bound for South Korea.

The country will be governed by the provisional Presidential Council, the government and the parliament.

Meanwhile, the document determines the powers of the sovereignty council and the establishment of a council of ministers with executive powers.

Among the duties of the parliament will be enacting law, overseeing the government, signing agreements and declaring war. There would also be a Cabinet of technocrats chosen by the protesters, as well as a legislative council, the makeup of which would be decided within three months. The main opposition coalition, the Forces of Freedom and Change, will have 67% of its seats and other political groups not associated with Bashir will have the rest.

The 300-member assembly will serve during the transitional period.

Despite the optimism, some have cautioned that 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. They have been locked in tense negotiations with the military for weeks while holding mass protests.

The deal on a constitutional declaration is the fruit of hard negotiations between the leaders of mass protests which erupted last December against Bashir's three-decade rule and the generals who eventually ousted him in April.

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