Monday, 3 September 2012

Saleh still playing politics with millions of supporters

By Nasser Arrabyee,03/09/2012

The Yemen former President Ali Abdullah  Saleh is  still playing  politics with  millions of supporters around him.

On Monday morning, September 3, 2012,  he was driving in the middle of capital Sanaa with hundreds of bodyguards and loyal politicians  in their way to the country's biggest place for holding conferences. 

Thousands of men and women and children were carrying his pictures and chanting, cheering and trying to get closer to his car when the procession arrived outside the Stadium of May 22 at the northern part of Sanaa. All those who were outside the Stadium were not allowed to get in because they were uninvited. 

More than 10,000 members of Saleh's party, People's General Congress (PGC), and their guests of politicians and diplomats were waiting inside to start a well-prepared ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of PGC that was founded by Saleh in 1982.

In a lengthy speech being aired live in three TV channels and FM radio owned by members of the  PGC, Saleh urged his supporters to stand and cooperate with his successor, the new elected  President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi for bringing the coming national dialogue next November to success. 

Although President Hadi is the secretary general and deputy chairman of PGC ( deputy of Saleh for PGC),  but he did not attend the ceremony of Monday  to show more neutrality as a President for all parties and Yemenis.

However, Saleh strongly criticized the national unity government that is chaired by his opponents ( a coalition of Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites) who were behind the 2011 uprising  against him. 
Although Saleh's party has 17 ministers in the 34-member cabinet, he described the government as " failed and incapable" .

Saleh said the government keeps throwing their failure on him.
"Even if a storm happens in the United  States, they will say Saleh did it," he said as his supporters applauded and cheered. 

"What did you do to those who bombed the oil and gas, and those who blocked the roads and those who sabotaged the electricity towers, did you put them on trial,"  Saleh, who now  plays the role of opposition,  asked the government. 

The Saudi capital Riyadh is hosting this week ( Starting Tuesday September 4)  a conference for the donors of Yemen who include Gulf countries, Europeans, Americans, and  other countries. Yemen needs more than 10 billion dollars to fix the economic problems during the transitional period.

Saleh thanked particularly Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait for their support for Yemen. And ironically, he thanked Qatar for "pumping" dollars to his opponents during the protests of last year.  

The UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar is scheduled to arrive in Sanaa on Thursday September 6 to continue helping the conflicting parties implement the Saudi-sponsored and US-backed deal that is supposed to entirely end the crisis by conducting a presidential elections on February 2014. 

The success of the national dialogue next November will be the most important step of all steps taken so far since the deal was signed by Saleh and his opponents in Riyadh in November 2011.

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