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Al-Mahdi fears Sudan’s Hamdok pulls back from FMI-supported economic reforms


July 11, 2020 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-Mahdi, expressed his fears that al-Badawi’s dismissal would not lead to pulling back from economic reforms he initiated with international financial institutions.

Sadiq al-Mahdi speaks to France 24 on 15 March 2018 (ST photo)
The unexpected departure of former Sudanese minister of finance and economic planning raised questions about its purpose as some went to speak about lack of close coordination and consultations between him and the prime minister.

For his part, al-Mahdi issued a statement saying he discussed the matter on Friday 10 July with former minister Ibrahim al-Badawi who told him that he would not reconsider his resignation.

He further said there are two political trends among the revolution’s forces advocating different economic policies: the dreamers and the sagacious. The second group, form him, are those who want to implement the tough receipt of the International Monetary Fund (IFM) which al-Badawi wants to follow.

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“If it is confirmed that the finance ministry will control the finance, and if the approach adopted is respecting the rules of economics and harmonious dialogue with international economic and financial institutions, (…) then I (…) would ask you to review your position,” he said speaking to al-Badawi.

“In the absence of these foundations, I will completely agree with you, because the dreaming trend will destroy the national economy,” he further said.

Al-Badawi is a NUP member but the party of the former prime minister did not propose him to take the ministry. Al-Mahdi was opposed to partisan nominations in the technocrat transitional cabinet.

He recalled that the left forces twice in the past were opposed to economic reforms agreed with the international financial institutions during the transitional periods after the fall of military regimes in 1964 and 1985.

Al-Mahdi did not say what his party does if Hamdok would opt for this option, but in the past, he threatened twice to withdraw his support to Hamdok government.

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Also, NUP leading members claimed that al-Badawi said expressed his frustration about the lack of support from the prime minister towards the refusal of the military to hand over the management of their economic firms to his ministry.

Al-Mahdi alluded to this issue in his statement when he spoke about the control of the public funds by the finance ministry. However, he focused his statement on the relations with international financial institutions.

Hamdok on 9 July accepted the resignation of six ministers including al-Badawi and fired the popular health minister Akram Eltom. Left groups say he was sacked because of his plans to implement free or universal health care system in the country.


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