Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Challenges facing the new President of Yemen

By Nasser Arrabyee/29/02/2012

The Yemen  new elected President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi is facing at least four major challenges. 

It seems that overcoming these challenges will be impossible without international and regional support and serious cooperation from the  internal players with the new President.  

The international and regional support focusses on Al Qaeda terrorism more than the  three other major challenges: the south issue, the Sa'ada issue, and the issue of  deteriorating economy, which can be  the main reason of all the other three  major issues. 

The internal players have their own focuses and political calculations which are  different from  those of the Americans and Saudis who lead the international and regional interest in Yemen. 

Although the American and Saudi officials were behind the political settlement which led to the current peaceful and smooth transfer of power, but without sincere cooperation from the Yemeni conflicting  influential players, nothing can be achieved in the ground.

Last Monday February 27,2012, the leaders of political parties who were behind the one-year  anti-Saleh protests, did not attend an official  ceremony for congratulating the new elected President Mr. Hadi and paying farewell for the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

The big ceremony, which was held in the presidential palace, was attended by the UN envoy to Yemen crisis Jamal Bin Omar, the chief of Arab League, Nabil Al Arabi, the chief of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif Al Zayani, and heads of all diplomatic missions in Yemen.

The justification of of the leaders of the  political parties( who lead the current unity government) for not attending the ceremony was not to anger their followers who did not want  them to say goodbye for the former president Saleh.

However, the ceremony was viewed by the supporters and observers inside and outside Yemen as an unprecedented historic event.  

" I am handing the flag of the republic, freedom, and democracy, and unity, to my brother, colleague, His  excellency President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi," said former president Saleh in the ceremony as he  handed the flag of Yemen to the new president Hadi.

On his part, the new President Hadi said," two years from now, I will be standing where Ali Abdullah Saleh is standing now, and  I will be handing the power to the new elected president".

The political leaders who did not attend   Such a  historic ceremony, did not violate the political agreement of the settlement  or the constitution and laws of Yemen, but they will be losers in the eyes of the coming generations, according to  political analysts.

" The JMP leaders should have ignored and forgotten the small  and personal things between them and former president Saleh, and they should have attended such a historic and symbolic event," said Najeeb Ghallab, political analyst and  politics university professor. 

" They should have contributed to teaching the coming generations that this is the best and the  only way to transfer the power from one to another," Ghallab added.

The JMP ( Joint Meeting Parties)  is the coalition of six parties under the dominance of the Islamist party, Islah. 

Before the settlement, the JMP was the opposition, but now a leader from them, Mohammed Salem Ba Sundwa, is the prime minister of the unity government which is divided equally between Saleh's party and the JMP, which includes Islamists ( Suna and Shia), Socialists and Nasserites.

Being a prime minister for a unity government, Mohammed Ba Sundwa should not have sided with the JMP, say the Saleh's supporters who have 16 ministers of the 35-member cabinet. 

The House of Representatives officially demanded on Tuesday that the prime minister Ba Sundwa should publicly apologize for not attending the ceremony of paying farewell to the former President Saleh.

On Saturday February 25th, 2012, the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned from a one-month medical trip in US.

 Saleh returned to his own house in the capital and would exercise his political activity as a head of his party, the People's General Congress ( PGC).   
For the fourth consecutive day, Saleh has been receiving thousands of men and women in his  own house who come to get reassured about his health. 

On Tuesday February 28, Saleh received more wishers especially women in his magnificent mosque, Al Saleh Mosque, which is only meters from the presidential Palace.

  Saleh's house was not large enough for the increasing number of wishers, so he moved to his  grand mosque which is large enough for about 50,000 people.

At least three TV channels owned by Saleh's party, cover the activities of Saleh in his house and mosque. 

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