Thursday, 21 July 2011

Season of councils as crisis remains unsolved in Yemen

By Nasser Arrabyee/21/07/2011

The main opposition parties are planning to announce what it called national council after they refused transitional council declared a group of young protesters. The spokesman of the preparatory committee, Mohammed Al Sabri expected the new council to be declared on August.

A total of 12 young protester groups declared Thursday July 21st, their own council which they called “the revolutionary council” after they refused the transitional council declared on Saturday by the leading protester Tawakul Karman. Even before this council, many other groups declared their councils and some others are in their way to declare.

Last Sunday July 17th marked the 33 anniversary of the President Ali Abdullah Saleh' rule who is still recovering in Saudi Arabia from burns and injuries he sustained In a failed assassination attempt on June 3.

While Saleh's supporters celebrated the anniversary in the capital Sana’a and all the other provinces, the anti-Saleh protesters escalated their six-month protests by accusing Saudi Arabia and US of supporting Saleh.

The international community including US and Saudi Arabia, keep saying the power should be transferred in a constitutional and orderly way.

On July 17th and from his hospital in Riyadh, President Saleh confidently called the opposition parties for dialogue and told the protesters in the streets that violence and chaos would never replace the democracy.

Saleh highly praised his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi who now makes consultations with all internal and external parties for solving the crisis.

All officials including the vice president insist that Talks on power transfer should only happen When Saleh return from Saudi Arabia.

On the eve of 33 anniversary of Saleh's rule, a group of protesters led by an Islamist female activist,announced unilaterally a transitional council of 17 members to run the country.

The council was not recognized by any of the opposition parties and was described by some critics as " a dead newborn".

This transitional council may lead to a civil war and repeat the Libyan experience,an opposition group warned immediately after it was declared.

"What we should do now is to continue our work until the regime is collapsed," said a statement by Al Houthi groups who call themselves in the protests square, Asomood,(steadfastness).

"Declaring a transitional council before collapse of the regime will only repeat the Libyan experience," warned the statement.

Muhsen Bin Fareed, secretary general of the opposition party, Ray, whose name was mentioned in the council, refused it and called for a national council instead between the south and the north with each side represented with 50 per cent of the council.

Backlashes among the protest groups and individuals were almost not different.

For instance, protesters from Al Zandani radical and fundamental university of Al-Eman,totally refused the council.

"I would call this council, Tawakul and Khaled al Ansi's council,it's one hundred per cent failed," said Adel Al Musanif referring to the two leading protesters widely believed to be behind the non-recognized council.

"Those behind this council should have listened to our clerics," added Al Musanif from his tent where hundreds of students of Al Eman university are camping out.

He referred to his Shiekh AlZandani who prohibited transitional councils earlier this month.

However, Abdul Rehman Al Qubati, independent leading protester said,
"The council is a good step towards the completion of the revolution regardless of its drawbacks."

"The timing was not good, and we have some reservations over some names in the council," said Al Qubati.

Hamid Qahtan a leading member of Islah said , "This council is only to thwart our revolution,and I think Tawakul and Khalid Al Ansi are working with foreign bodies against Yemen,"
Qahtan, belongs to the same Islamist party of Tawakul and Al Ansi.

Another group of protesters calling themselves, a civil alliance of Yemeni revolution , refused the transitional council in a statement.

"We refuse the so-called 17-member presidential transitional council declared by the so-called the preparatory committee of revolution youth council," said a statement of the alliance issued Sunday.

"This council will never succeed, it was done and declared overnight without even the agreement of its members," said the leading protester Najib Abdul Rehman.

Judge Fahim Muhsen, one of the 17 members declared, denied his knowledge of the council.

"I heard about this council only from media,I am still doing my work,and we as judges will always keep away from politics,"said Judge Fahim whose name was mentioned in the alleged council as chairman of the supreme judicial council.

The deputy minister of information said the council would not work at all.

"The government is till there, the institutions are still there, the legal and elected president is still there," said Abdul Janadi, deputy minister of information.

"So they can form their council only in the sky, and it's allowed there," he added.

The leading protester Najeeb Abdul Rehman believes that the idea if a real transitional council was killed by declaring a council without coordination .
"I think Tawakul was secretly told by her party to kill our dreams of forming a real council, now the idea is killed and this is what the Islah wants," said Najeeb Abdul Rehman.

Earlier last week, the cleric Abdul Majeed Al Zandani, the most extremist and influential cleric in the Islamist party, Islah, said that forming a transitional council is violating the rules of Shariah and those who want to form a council should review their religion.

At least two more groups of the protesters declared transitional councils, and many more are on their way to declare.

The leading protester Adel Abdu, said no council would succeed without representation of the majority of the forces including the ruling party.

"I think what was declared Saturday was just an attempt to confuse the public before the return of President Saleh," said Adel."This council is a dead newborn."

However, the leading protester Ameen Arrabyee agreed with the council, saying the opposition parties would not do anything if they wait.

"This is what the young people should do, we should not wait, and I think we have taken the right step," said Arrabyee who is a lawyer.

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