December 17, 2015(KHARTOUM)-Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir slammed press reports against his finance minister and warned that he would take “decisive measures’’ against the country’s media .
- Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)
Press reports Monday said that high-level authorities had wanted to listen to a recording in which the finance minister allegedly asked the parliament to pass a decision included in the national budget that lifts the subsidies on basic commodities, namely fuel, bread and electricity.
In an address before the parliamentary group(caucus) of his ruling National Congress Party Monday, Bashir said that “concerned (security) bodies seem unable to control the media’’.
He further dismissed as untrue reports that his finance minister Badr-Eddin Mahmoud had urged the lawmakers to approve the lifting of subsidies on basic commodities.
“The finance minister did not give such statements,’’ said the president , reiterating that the new budget, yet to be passed by the legislature, ’’does not show any deficit.’’
He said that his government had received ” support and loans from European and Arab countries’’, that he did not name.
He, however , stated that “budget deficit is a natural thing and had continued to exist for a long time’’.
’’The media is against the government and distorts the officials’ statements,’’ he charged .
He said even journalists supposed to be loyal to his government ’’nowadays stand against us.’’
’’From now onwards I will take care of the media dossier by myself,’’ he emphasized.
Observers fear that these statements from Bashir could be followed by a collective confiscation of newspapers as happened Monday when the security stormed the press and confiscated the day’s issue of al-Tayyar newspaper before it went for distribution.
Press reports on December 7 said when presenting his budget draft to the parliament , the finance minister had urged the deputies to pass the budget, lifting of subsidies included, in order to prevent economic breakdown.
Those reports had caused public dismay .Opposition parties along with leading figures in the ruling party had opposed the move also.
Also, the press had quoted the finance minister as accusing the Sudanese people of being ’’a consumerist and a non-productive nation.’’
It is also recalled that tens of citizens were killed during public riots following the lifting of the subsidy on fuel in September 2013.