July 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan will discuss in the coming days the formation of the new government that will be the first after South Sudan became an independent state last weekend.
The proposed make-up of the government is expected to be deliberated and endorsed by the NCP’s leadership council at its next meeting.
The NCP signed a 2005 peace deal with the Southern ex-rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, to form a joint government and parliament. But Southern participation in the federal government was terminated as of July 9 leaving many positions up for grabs.
According to local media, the NCP wants to include the National Umma Party (NUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which are the largest opposition parties in Sudan. If the two parties agree, then a total of six ministries would be allocated to them.
Three other ministries would be put aside pending the signing of the peace agreement between Khartoum and Darfuri rebels the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) which is expected to take place this month.
The DUP appears more likely to join the government than the NUP which has seen its dialogue with the NCP come to a halt as talks failed to bridge their differences.
The proposed cabinet will be comprised of 22 ministries. The current vice president Ali Osman Taha will likely promoted to First VP, a position that was held by Salva Kiir who is now president of the Republic of South Sudan.
The 2nd VP post will be filled by a figure from Darfur with nominations suggesting that the NCP’s political secretary Al-Haj Adam Yousef is the strongest candidate to fill it.
At the Doha peace talks, the Sudanese government agreed to appoint a Darfuri as VP during the current presidential term but insisted that it will be exclusively up to President Omer Hassan al-Bashir to pick the nominee.
Furthermore, Khartoum stressed that installing a Darfuri as a VP will not be made a rule within the Sudanese constitution.
Opposition parties have complained in the past that the NCP has no intention of engaging in genuine power sharing and insists on having full control on the decision making process.
The NCP already controls more than 90 percent of the parliamentary seats following the last general elections in April 2010.