Al-Bashir not worried about loss in popularity due to austerity measures

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Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir said yesterday that his government “is not worried about paying a political price” for the recent rise in fuel prices, the Anadolu Agency reported.

This is the first time Al-Bashir has commented on the government’s decision to raise fuel and electricity prices at the start of this month.

Speaking to the armed forces in Khartoum, Al-Bashir said: “We had two bitter choices: either to carry out deep surgery that may lead to the collapse of the state or to take these measures to save economy.”

“Yes, these measures have a political price, but we will bear this price,” he said, referring to what monitors say is the decline in his popularity due to similar measures taken since 2011.

The government decision included electricity, fuel and medicines. In return, the government raised basic salaries by 20 per cent and approved a number of other benefits.

Sudan was forced to put in place austerity measures after South Sudan gained independent in 2012, taking with it 75 per cent of the country’s oil reserves.

According to Anadolu, oil income makes up 50 per cent of public revenues and 80 per cent of the country’s cash.

In September 2013, the country witnessed a wave of protests due to the austerity measures which the government had introduced.

©Alleastafrica and MME

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