A leading reformist in Sudan's ruling party says he will form his own party after being suspended for condemning the government's recent crackdown on protests.

In a statement published Saturday on his Facebook page, former presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Eddin described the suspension of eight members of the ruling National Congress Party and himself as "arbitrary." He said it dealt a blow to reform efforts within the party.

The announcement comes after an NCP committee decided Thursday to suspend Salah Eddin and other reformists for a year after they and 22 others signed a petition condemning the government's violent crackdown last month.

Dozens died in violent protests that erupted in September when President Omar al-Bashir's government decided to lift subsidies, nearly doubling prices on fuel products.