Thursday, November 3, 2011

Will Yemen's woes ever cease?

Medical check-ups delayed yet again the final solution for the 10-month long political crisis of Yemen, bemoans Nasser Arrabyee

November 3, 2011

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was supposed to authorise his deputy to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered deal and implement all its steps until a new president is elected. However, Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi last week flew to the United States for necessary medical checks.

And so did presidential political advisor Abdel-Karim Al-Eryani, who is the chief negotiator with the opposition forces about the GCC deal. And so UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar consequently postponed his trip to Yemen.

Both Hadi and Al-Eryani are scheduled to return to Sanaa on the weekend. According to reliable sources in government and opposition, the UN envoy will attend the final consultations with both sides before the GCC accord is signed by Hadi.

Some of the opposition politicians confirmed Tuesday that they were informed by the US ambassador that Saleh had agreed to authorise his deputy to act for him until a new president is elected within three months after the GCC deal is signed.

The authorisation decree stipulates that Saleh will remain president until a new president is elected and that the authorised deputy should not remove him. This is a kind of guarantee.

Immediately, after the GCC deal is signed by Hadi, and the implementation mechanism is approved by both sides, the UN Security Council would issue a resolution binding all conflicting parties to implement the mechanism step by step and UN envoy Bin Omar would be monitoring all steps and performance of all parties.

After being authorised by President Saleh, Hadi would entrust someone nominated by the opposition to form a national unity government from the opposition coalition and the ruling party.

The opposition-chaired government would form a military and security committee chaired by Hadi, to control the army and security. The son and three nephews of President Saleh will remain in their positions as commanders in army and security until the end of the transitional period.

Then, the vice president would call for presidential elections within three month. Hadi himself would be the candidate of both the ruling party and the opposition as a man of national consensus.

Hadi would be elected as a transitional president for two years during which all political and constitutional issues are supposed to be solved.

However, the situation on the ground remains tense and escalation continues. The protesters refuse the GCC deal and insist on the ouster of Saleh without conditions, despite the fact that the opposition parties are involved in the GCC deal and negotiations with the ruling party.

The armed opposition tribesmen supported by rebel troops are still in almost daily confrontation with the government forces inside the capital and other places.

Meanwhile, the Nobel prize awarded to Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman this year along with two Liberian women has done little to calm the waters. The Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakul Karman described Saleh as a traitor, even as she was chastised by a fundamentalist cleric: "Karman was given the prize of Jews and Christians as a reward for her major treason of Islam, the state and the people," said Salafi cleric Mohamed Al-Emam.

"This woman corrupted the women and men, and she and those like her need to repent to Allah Almighty before they die," said Al-Emam in his lecture. Al-Emam heads one of the largest Salafi schools in Yemen.

In addition to his school, located in Mabar, some 70km south of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, there are about 4,000 other similar Salafi schools scattered all over the country. Gulf Salafi businessmen and other religious groups, especially from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, financially and logistically support these schools.

"This woman called for rebellion against Allah, and his Messenger and hijab, and this a criminal call," said the Salafi cleric who has tens of thousands of followers in Yemen. Al-Emam also blasted Karman's party, the Islamist party Islah, and called on its leaders to repent as well for dealing with the enemies, in a clear reference to Americans and Westerners in general.

So Yemeni's cliff-hanging revolution remains temporarily in suspension, with Karman and Al-Emam keeping protesters warm with their fiery words.

Source: Ahram Online

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