Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Yemeni parties to sit for national dialogue

By Nasser Arrabyee/03/06/2010

The Yemen ruling party and the four main opposition parties will start next Saturday dialogue sessions over essential political reforms and formation of a national unity government, said official sources Thursday.

The opposition parties accepted a call for the dialogue by the President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the eve of May 22nd, 2010, the 20th anniversary of Unity between the south and north.

The main demand of the opposition to start dialogue with the ruling party was releasing all political detainees on the back ground of the southern protests and the fight with Al Houthi rebels, and also the journalists who were detained for their opinions.

All journalists were released and more than 300 political detainees from Al Houthi supporters and the southern protesters were released according to official statements.

The coalition of the opposition parties, Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, however, still insist of releasing all political detainees as a condition for starting the dialogue. Hundreds from the south and from Al Houthi supporters are still in prisons, and the government says those jailed on criminal issues have nothing to do with the Presidential pardon, meaning they cannot be released.

The dialogue will be based an agreement reached by the parties on February 2009, by which the parliamentary elections were postponed two years from 2009 until 2011, for doing constitutional, electoral and political reforms.

Now there is an obvious rapprochement between the opposition and the ruling party despite all difficulties facing them.

"We will get involved into this dialogue to solve the problems of Yemen not the problems of the regime, and we will be flexible and lenient to restore the spirit of the revolution, the republic, and unity, and establish the genuine partnership and equal citizenship," said Hamid Al Ahmer, the leader in the Islamist party, Islah, and the one who leads and funds an opposition committee for what they called a "national dialogue"

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