By Nasser Arrabyee, 01/02/2011
The head of the opposition coalition said opposition in Yemen has not yet officially demanded the President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down like Egypt and Tunisia.
“The opposition has not arrived its final stage, and it is still demanding serious and genuine reforms,” said Mohammed Al Mutawakel, chairman of the supreme council of the Joint Meeting Parties, the coalition of the main opposition parties.
“When people become hopeless of genuine reforms, then demands for removal of the regime will be used like Egypt and Tunisia.”
Earlier, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for an urgent and joint meeting with the two chambers of the Parliament on Wednesday February 2nd , 2011 to discuss important issues.
The meeting will be only one day before the “Yemen day of rage” on Thursday February 3rd, called for by young people through social media and also by the main opposition parties.
President Saleh said in his official invitation on Tuesday the meeting would be in the supreme interest of the homeland as he would raise very important issues to this common meeting of the House of Representatives and Shura Council.
Emboldened by the ongoing popular uprising against President Mubarak’s regime in Egypt and before that the uprising which ousted the Tunisian president Bin Ali, Yemeni young people from almost all parties have been calling through the face book and twitter for a big anti-regime protest in the Yemeni capital on Thursday.
The independent sociologist in Sana’a university, Fuad Al Salahi expected a bigger uprising in Yemen than in Egypt if serious political and economic reforms are not taken by the government.
“In Yemen, the explosion and revolution will be stronger if there is no serious and quick reforms,” said professor Al Salahi.
The main opposition parties which include the Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, also called for the Thursday’s demonstrations not only in the capital Sana’a but also all over the country.
“Thursday’s demonstrations will be the last thing of the first stage of our activities which we started in the mid of last January, to refuse all unilateral steps taken by the ruling party for holding elections and constitutional amendments,” said Mohammed Al Kubati, the spokesman of the opposition coalition, Joint Meeting Parties, JMPs.
The opposition JMPs ignored a call by President Saleh to resume a deadlocked dialogue process over political reforms and halt of demonstrations and rival media campaigns.
Saleh’s call to resume the dialogue came after an exceptional meeting with his senior officials last Friday January, 28th, 2011.
Some opposition leaders say the Thursday’s demonstrations will not only in the framework of the program of oppositions parties to escalate the refusal of the unilateral steps by the ruling party on elections and constitutional amendments, but also to respond to the demands of the people.
“We’ll get out on Thursday to support the people, all the people, who want to change the regime,” said Mohammed Al Sabri, a prominent opposition leader.
On Monday the official media said that President Saleh instructed the government to establish a special fund to help the young people find jobs, and to employ 25 % of the universities graduates in 2011.
Also President Saleh ordered the government to give financial assistance, also in 2011, to 500,000 poor families surveyed earlier last year by a government body for social care all over the country.
The monthly salaries of the civil and military and security personnel will be increased starting from this month by an amount which ranges from 2000 to 6000 Yemeni rials ( that’s 10-30 US dollars).
The steps are viewed by some observers as not enough and as an attempt to absorb the anger of the people due to the economic deterioration and prices hikes.