Monday September 10, 2018
President Omar al-Bashir dissolved the Sudanese government on Sunday and named a new prime minister, moves aimed at fixing a crisis-hit economy battered in recent months by shortages of bread, fuel and hard currency.
Bashir named Motazz Moussa as the country’s prime minister. He replaces Bakri Hassan Saleh, who was appointed in 2017 as the country’s first prime minister since Bashir came to power in 1989.The announcement came just after Bashir called an emergency meeting of ruling party officials in the presidential palace on the back of growing economic concerns over price rises and shortages.
Moussa had been serving as minister of irrigation and electricity before the government was dissolved.
Saleh, who had been serving as both prime minister and vice president before the shake-up, will stay on in the newly created post of first vice president, while Osman Yusuf Kubur was appointed second vice president.
No other ministerial appointments were announced, but the number of ministries in the new government will be slashed to 21 from 31, a move intended to cut down on spending, National Congress Party Deputy Chairman Faisal Hassan told a news conference.
The ministers of foreign affairs, defense and presidential affairs will remain in their posts when the new government is formed, Hassan said.
Khartoum has been trying to slash expenditures as it grapples with record high inflation, the hard-currency shortage and growing concern over low levels of liquidity at commercial banks.
Long queues outside commercial banks have become a fixture around Khartoum in recent weeks as the liquidity of the local currency has dwindled and ATMs have been emptied of cash. Daily withdrawal limits in some places have been set as low as 500 Sudanese pounds ($16.60).