Khartoum — The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) will start investigating party members who signed a memo calling for cancelling recent subsidies' cuts and put a halt to the bloody crackdown on protesters.
The head of NCP organizational sector, Hamid Sideeg announced on Friday that his party has formed a committee headed by National Assembly speaker Ibrahim Al-Taher to query those whose names appeared in the petition that was circulated publicly.
In a statement released by the official news agency SUNA, Sideeg said "such memos undermines the unity of the National Congress Party and serves the agenda of those who work against it".
He further said the committee chaired by Al-Taher with the oil minister Awad Al-Jaz will submit its recommendations within a week.
The memo criticized the government decision to remove subsidies on fuel and some other basic commodities saying it "harshly" impacted the Sudanese citizens. The signatories who included many lawmakers further said the parliament had not been consulted over these economic measures, which were opposed by sections of the NCP.
"Alternatives [to lifting subsidies] were proposed by individuals, experts and political forces but the substitutes were given no consideration and the government insisted on implementing the measures as they are indifferent to their impact and the extent of citizens' ability to endure them," said the memo.
Observers in Khartoum say the reformists, including former head of NCP parliamentary caucus Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani and a group of military accused of plotting to overthrow the regime last year, used this opportunity to further distance themselves from the mainstream led by president Omer Al-Bashir.
However it is not clear if they dare to move a step further and form their own political organization. Al-Attabani was reportedly poised to be expelled from the party.
On Thursday, a member of the NCP leadership office, Mohamed Al-Hassan Al-Amin called on what is called the reformists within the ruling party to commit themselves to its decisions or leave.
He said that president Al-Bashir opted the preponderant view among the different positions .
The economic measures triggered some of the worst protests Sudan has witnessed in years with death toll surpassing 200 according to Amnesty International.
Sudanese authorities say that only 34 people were killed in these demonstrations.
On Friday, hundreds of protestors took the streets in different parts of Khartoum and Omdurman to express discontent against the government and calling for its removal. There were no reports of injuries or death, however.
In Port Sudan on the Red Sea, Sudan's biggest port, about 50 people staged a sit-in in front of the security headquarters calling for the release of political prisoners, according to Reuters.
The Imam at the Wad Nubawi mosque in Omdurman who belongs to the Ansar sect, which is the religious arm of the National Umma Party (NUP), said that people can barely make ends meet with current salaries.
He also demanded that the government free those arrested in connection with the protests and to reinstate fuel subsidies.