Sudan's newly-appointed finance minister rejects post: SUNA

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Abdullah Hamduk, named as finance minister in Sudan’s new administration, has formally declined the appointment, state news agency SUNA reported on Saturday.

Hamduk was the former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir instead tasked Prime Minister Moataz Moussa Abdullah with managing the affairs of the finance ministry, SUNA said later on Saturday.

Bashir named the new prime minister this week and said the number of ministers in a leaner government would be slashed by a third to cut government spending as the economy grapples with soaring inflation and an acute hard currency shortage.

Khartoum has been trying to slash expenditures as it grapples with inflation that hit about 64 percent year-on-year in July and a hard currency shortage that has given way to intermittent shortages in staples like fuel and bread.

Bashir’s ruling party said last month that it plans to nominate the longtime ruler for re-election in 2020, a move that requires amending the constitution.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Toby Chopra