Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Delayed road map to electing new president for Yemen

By Nasser Arrabyee/06/09/2011

The Yemeni opposition insists on resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh before any talks with the ruling party about a Saudi-led Gulf plan to transfer power and elect a new President for Yemen.

The US,EU, and UN still support the Gulf plan which includes four main points agreed almost by all parties as a road map. Saleh has to call for early elections to held at the end of this year, and transfers all his powers to his deputy. The third and fourth is to form a unity government chaired by the opposition, and to form a military committee to restructure the army.

Earlier this month, President Saleh called for electing a new president according to the Yemeni constitution. From the Saudi capital Riyadh where he is finishing treatments from injuries he suffered in a failed assassination attempt early last June,President Saleh authorized his party to talk with the opposition about a mechanism to implement the Gulf plan and elect a new president.

On Tuesday September 6th,2011,the top authority of the ruling party discussed the mechanism of power transition which has the support of all local,regional and international players. Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi, who is also the secretary general of the ruling party briefed the top officials on the consultations he made with all parties to implement the plan.

On the ground,however,tension remains high as the opposition supporters keep threatening to use force and violence to end the rule of Saleh.

While Saleh supporters keep refusing any early elections because Saleh is the legitimate president until September 20th, 2013.

The rising tension because of these two conflicting views result sometimes deaths and injuries of people from both sides in small battles here in the capital and many other places.

The UK ambassador to Sana'a Jonathan Wilks, said in a statement sent to media on Tuesday that violence is not a solution.
"What Yemen urgently needs now is a political solution,and violence would not solve the problems," Wilks said.
He said the political settlement should be based on the Gulf plan and the road map suggested by the UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar.

The British ambassador also advised the independent young protesters to choose a small group of them to present them in the local,regional and international talks.

Earlier in the week, the opposition retracted a previous call for violence and using weapons for ending the 33-year rule of President Saleh.

“We refuse violence in all its forms, and any call for violence would not represent us,” said an official statement issued Monday by the Islamist-led opposition coalition, which locally known as Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs).

The step came few days after leaders of the JMPs threatened to use military force to help the opposition supporters who demand the ouster of Saleh and to defeat Saleh’s supporters who demand dialogue.

For instance, last week, the defected general Ali Muhsen who supports the 8-month anti-Saleh protests, threatened to topple President Saleh by force. “We know that the revolution needs a military interference, and we will do that,” said Muhsen in press statements.

Also, the chairman of the failed opposition council Mohammed Ba Sendaw described supporters of Saleh as “traitors and hypocrites”.

The tension remains high in the capital Sana’a as people fear of an explosion of the situation anytime because of irresponsible and fiery statements they hear in media.

For only one day, the government troops prevented most of the people from entering the capital Sana’a in an attempt to prevent tribesmen who may help opposition supporters in case war erupts inside the city.

The republican guards, the main forces loyal to Saleh, which control all entrances of Sana’a, try to prevent armed opposition tribesmen who wish to enter the city to fight with the opposition protesters who seem to be turning to violent.

Earlier, the ruling party accused the opposition parties of preparing for a bloody military action after defected general threatened to use the Libyan style for ending the revolution.

“There are adventurous leaders seeking to commit a massacre either from among those left in the squares or of the citizens,” the ruling party website quoted an unnamed official as saying.
“Those adventurous leaders think that bloodshed will restore the vitality they lost by withdrawal of protesters from the squares,” added the statement.

In their weekly rally of Friday September 2nd, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the capital Sana’a and other cities, to demand use of military action to end their 8-month long struggle to topple the defiant President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They called the step "Revolutionary Escalation"

One of the Islamist leaders said in the Friday’s rally the protests should move from squares to neighborhoods of the cities. His call was a similar to another Islamist leader who said earlier in the year the protesters should march forward to the “bed rooms”.

The two calls angered a lot of Yemenis causing an increase of Saleh’s supporters.

On the same Friday ,however, hundreds of thousands of Saleh’s supporters also took to the streets to refuse any military action and demand dialogue.

Thousands of protesters known as “Assomud Youth” who belong to Al Houthi rebels withdrew from the Sana’a square ‘Change Square’.

The step was widely welcomed by the residents in 20 street close to the old university. The 20 Street became free for movement and traffic after Assomud left with their tents. Local residents became very happy to have their street back to normal after about mor than seven months of noise.

Assomud Youth, known also as Houthis, hate the defected general Ali Muhsen who led six sporadic wars against them in the northern province of Sa’ada over the years 2004-2010.

Soldiers of the defected general Ali Muhen replaced the Houthis in the 20 Street starting from September 1st.

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