Monday, March 14, 2011

Yemen opposition leader welcomes president's initiative

Sana'a, Mar 14, 2011- A prominent leader of the main opposition party Islah has welcomed President Ali Abdullah Saleh's latest concession to ease countrywide tension, indicating that the current political crisis could still be reversed.
Islah party leader Hamoud al-Tharhi said that President Saleh's announcements last Thursday could open a path to dialogue – which the president has called for in recent months but the opposition rejected. President Saleh last week called for the formation of a multi-party committee to rewrite the country's constitution and plan general elections.
Al-Tharhi said that they would "study the new initiative of the president until God willing we reach a unified vision".
"We have had mediations with the president before," he said.
Al-Tharhi is a member of the supreme committee of Islah and commented that President Saleh's proposal to establish a parliamentarian system and local governorates with full authority was promising.
"We hope that this initiative will respond to the demands of people and ease the conflict. We will study," said al-Tharhi.
Al-Tharhi said though that this initiative was a bit late. He said that had it been presented earlier that it would have lessened the prevailing tension. He criticized others though for saying that the initiative came at a time when Yemen's government was already "dying in its bed".
"This language that states that the system is politically dying in its bed is something that we do not like. We are all for and with logic and rationale that has objectives that will lead us to a safe solution without harmful language," said al-Tharhi.
He also disagreed with those who believed that the federal system was going to divide Yemen further. He said that citizens would ultimately decide on what was best for the country. He said that dividing Yemen into regions was not a problem as long as there was law and a constitution that regulated and systematized everything.
Concerning the young anti-government demonstrators outside Sana'a University, who are considered the 'third side' of the political equation in Yemen, al-Tharhi said that they should not be ignored. He said that they should be listened to because they had been told that their demands would be met. But he said that they should be responded to in a manner that would not lead Yemen into chaos and tension.
Shiekh Yahya Mujahid Abu Shwareb, deputy president of the National Solidarity Council (NSC), has meanwhile announced his resignation from this council. He objected to alleged sabotage and bullying by members of the council and the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP).

Witnesses said that these attacks had resulted in the injury of several citizens in Haboor Dhwlimah district in the Amran governorate. The injured citizens were on their way to attend a demonstration in support of President Saleh's denouncement of chaos and destruction in Amran.
Armed guards of opposition leaders and brothers Hamed and Hussein al-Hamr fired at a number of unarmed citizens and members of the General People Congress (GPC) who were on their way to participate in a pro-Saleh demonstration in Haboor Dhwlimah district in Amran province.
One man was killed and seven others were severely injured, said a security source in Amran province. The security source said that the injured citizens were taken to hospital and the perpetrators escaped. Security forces were hunting for the alleged killers, said the source.
Shwareb strongly denounced and condemned the attacks that targeted Yemen's stability, security and unity. He also criticized using innocent Yemeni citizens as fuel to increase tension and harm public safety to serve personal interests.
Pro-Saleh protests hit a peak in Amran province where members of the Hashid tribe took to the streets on Saturday. This was one of the biggest public rallies in the province's history and it is estimated that a million persons from the same tribes as the opposition's al-Ahmar brothers participated in the march.
The official Yemeni TV channel showed Islah party loyalists burning their membership cards and repudiating its actions. They declared that they would join to the ruling party, General People's Congress (GPC).
Participants at this rally included Sheikh Hamoud Atif, a senior sheikh of the Hashid tribe, who said that they were committing themselves to protect the state. He also said that they wanted would fight with their blood and lives for unity in Yemen.
Source: Yemen Observer

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