President Jaafar Nimeri fired First Vice President Abdel Maged Khalil, the No. 2 man in the Sudanese hierarchy, and disbanded all top bodies of the nation's only legal political party in a sweeping shake-up that followed riots over food and gasoline prices.
Egypt's Middle East News Agency said Nimeri dismissed Khalil from all his posts--first vice president, defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces.
The agency, in a Khartoum-datelined dispatch, gave no reason for Khalil's dismissal. It said Nimeri will hold the posts of defense minister and commander in chief.
The agency said Nimeri, who is Sudanese Socialist Union President, named a 41-member "popular committee" under his chairmanship to reorganize the party "at all levels" and review its charter and regulations in order to "ensure effective participation by the masses."
The agency quoted Nimeri as saying the dissolution had been recommended by a five-day conference of about 200 senior officials and leading politicians.
The conference was called following several days of nationwide riots led by students to protest sharp increases in sugar and gasoline prices.
Sugar prices rose by 62 percent and gasoline by 35 percent when the government stopped subsidizing them as part of an austerity program launched at the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund.