Monday, February 13, 2012

Political development good for Yemen

SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Though there are flaws in the Yemeni election process, a successful vote will pave the way to more political reforms, the prime minister said.

Yemeni Vice President Abdurabu Mansur Hadi was nominated as the sole presidential candidate in an election later this month. The country's Parliament said the situation in the country was too precarious for an open election, the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN reports.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a political transition agreement in November in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Yemen was caught up in the so-called Arab Spring and the United Nations objected to the immunity deal, saying anyone suspected of committing atrocities against civilians should be prosecuted.

Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Ba-Sindwa told IRIN that elections would help Yemen move beyond political violence.

"Our plan for the post-election period is to make the rule of law prevail nationwide," he was quoted as saying. "This is key to purifying the country from corruption and corrupt officials."

Critics say prospects for democracy was uncertain in Yemen considering Hadi is the only candidate. Gustavo Gonzalez, a country director for the U.N. Development Program, told IRIN any political development was positive for Yemen.

"The upcoming presidential election is the first step in this challenging journey," he said.

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