October 29, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese parliament speaker, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, has called for addressing defense issues with the necessary preparations and called for resolving economic issues according to clear plans, stressing that a proposed elections law requires a large political consensus before presenting it to the parliament for ratification.
- The audience listens to Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir speaking during the opening of a new session of parliament on October 28, 2013 in Khartoum (AFP/Getty Images)
The parliamentary session on Tuesday was devoted to deliberations on the president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir address which was delivered in the opening of the parliament’s eighth session on Monday.
MPs scrambled to praise the president’s speech but they also made observations on several issues including his call for negotiations with rebel groups.
Several MPs underscored the need for restructuring the government and said that it does not need the “large army” of officials who hold constitutional posts at the states level, calling upon the government to practice patience in its negotiations with the rebels.
They also criticized the government inability to control price chaos and stressed that the government should not use the price liberalization as an excuse to forfeit its responsibility, demanding the establishment of a mechanism that would adjust commodity prices.
“Market is a goblin which eats any wolf. What is going on in the market [chaotic pricing] has nothing to do with the recent economic measures”, they said
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) majority leader, Mahdi Ibrahim, said that the recent economic measures was an integrated package which included redistribution of government subsidies in favor of the poor.
Last month, violent clashes erupted between demonstrators and security forces following government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies and lead to about 70 deaths, according to official figures, although activists, rights groups and opposition parties put the death toll at more than 200.
MP Badawi Al-Khair Idris called for directing money which used to go for fuel subsidies to finish building Western Salvation Road, stressing that political rhetoric of senior officials often aborts diplomatic efforts made by the foreign ministry.
MP Al-Hibir Youssef for his part said that the political party that fails to tolerate reform within its ranks is necessarily incapable of reforming the country.
He was referring to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) which recently decided to dismiss several reformists including ex-majority leader in parliament, Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani.
MP and member of the liaison committee with the armed rebel groups, Hussein Abdallah Gibreel, revealed that their recent meetings with the leaders of the armed groups in Kampala were promising, pointing that they asked them to lay down arms and return to Sudan.
MP Abdel-Jabar Abdel-Karim, said that statements made by some officials to the media about government removal of fuel subsidies have triggered the demonstrations and gave the opposition a pressure card against the government, describing tribal conflicts in Darfur as “social rebellion”.