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Sudan's Popular Congress Party demands reversal of economic measures

November 17 - 2016 KHARTOUM
PCP Secretary-General Kamal Omar (Radio Tamazuj)
PCP Secretary-General Kamal Omar (Radio Tamazuj)

The opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) demands the recent economic measures that have led to large increases in the fuel and electricity tariffs to be reversed. According to an official of the Sudanese Trucks Transport Bureau, the prices of basic commodities will double soon, “especially in the peripheries of the country”.

The measures were taken without consultation of the parties participating in the National Dialogue, Kamal Omar, PCP Political Secretary said in an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday.

The party, founded by the late Hassan El Turabi, is a member of the 7+7 National Dialogue Committee (composed of the ruling National Congress Party and six other government parties, as well as seven opposition parties. President Omar Al Bashir proposed the broad National Dialogue in early 2014 to gather all political forces in Sudan, including the rebel movements, with the aim to peacefully solve the various crises in the country.

The PCP strongly denounces the package of measures developed by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sudan to curb the rapid fall of the Sudanese Pound against the US Dollar on the black market. during the past five months.

“The way out of the current economic crisis can only be achieved by ending the wars.”

On 3 November, the Minister of Finance announced the liberalisation of the fuel prices and an increase of the electricity tariff. The measures took effect the next day. The prices for public transportation and consumer goods increased sharply, and demonstrations broke out in various Sudanese towns. The security apparatus detained a number of opposition members and other protesters.

According to the PCP Political Secretary, “The new measures constituted a shock to the Sudanese people.” He added that “The opposition parties involved in the National Dialogue were not consulted.”

He contradicted the justification given by President Al Bashir in his recent speech to members of the Military Intelligence, when he said that the economic measures have been taken to avoid the country’s collapse. “This is a non-objective,” Omar stressed. “The way out of the current economic crisis can only be achieved by ending the wars.”

Economic indicators

In October, the inflation rate in Sudan rose by 7 per cent, the Information Officer of the Central Bureau of Statistics reported in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday.

“The lack of economic indicators in the country constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of the development goals”.

El Alim Abdelghani said that the general prices’ level is rising in the country, and pointed out that prices of basic commodities soared more than six times since 2007.

He added that “The lack of economic indicators in the country constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of the development goals”.

'Doubling of prices'

Ismail Osman, Deputy Secretary-General of the Sudanese Trucks Transport Bureau, predicted a doubling of prices of basic commodities, “especially in the peripheries”, following the decision of the Ministry of Transportation to limit the maximum load for trucks to 56 tons per vehicle.

“This will lead to a rise of truck transport prices per ton from SDG170 ($26) to SDG530 ($81),” he explained.

Pharmacists in the capital Khartoum expected medicine prices to double within days as well, Radio Dabanga reported earlier this week.

An economic analyst told this station on Wednesday that “All these economic decisions will postpone the collapse [of the country] for a few months”.


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