Thursday, February 23, 2012

World Hails Yemeni presidential election

By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, February 23, 2012- World hails Yemeni early presidential election which took place on Tuesday in the whole country as an important step forward democracy in Yemen to replace former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down from his position in November 2011 due to violent protests and uprisings in Yemen against his regime.
The presidential election in Yemen has been lauded by several countries and organizations, including the USA, Britain, Spain, Russia, Untied Nations and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The UN Security Council welcomed the Feb. 21 presidential election held in Yemen.
The Council congratulated the people of Yemen for the overall peaceful manner in which the elections were held and the encouraging levels of participation.
On the other hand, The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Yemenis on the high participation in the presidential election, considering that "a clear expression of the sincere desire for the peaceful change."
Ban Ki-moon said that the goal is to "achieve unity and security" in Yemen, stressing "the importance that the work on a full national dialogue without exclusion and the Constitution revision."
He urged all parties to "prepare the program of reforms to face the economic, humanitarian and security challenges faced by Yemen at the present."
The UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar said on Tuesday that February 21 is a historic day kept Yemen away from the risk of a civil war and opened up horizons of new future and broad political participation. Conforming that the election was carried out in safe atmosphere compared to the pain Yemenis have suffered from previously.
He stressed that it is not the right of any one to impede election or use violence for political purposes, according to the UN resolution 2014.
From its part, the EU confirmed that the success of the early presidential election in Yemen will pave the way for building a modern civil state that indeed meets the needs of all Yemenis.
In a statement released Wednesday in Brussels by High Representative of the EU foreign policy, Catherine Ashton said that “the presidential election is an important achievement for the transitional process in Yemen”, pointing that this election opens a new chapter in the history of the country, a chapter presents a promise for the change that is long overdue for the Yemeni people.
The statement denounced impeding the election by violence, especially in Aden and the southern provinces, stressing at the same time the need to hold accountable those responsible for these acts of violence.
On the other hand, Speaker of European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has considered February 21 a historic day for Yemen.

In a statement released Wednesday in Brussels, Schulz pointed out that the participation in the election highlighted the presence of overwhelming support for the process of democratic transition, congratulating Yemeni people on the success of the election.
Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed on Wednesday satisfaction with the success of the Yemen's early presidential election taken place on Tuesday.
In its statement, GCC said "The success of the presidential election and the large turnout heralds that security and stability would be brought back to Yemen."
The statement pointed to the GCC's observation delegation visits to a number of polling stations, saying the Gulf observers had expressed satisfaction at the high level turnout of voters.
The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also praised the presidential election held on February 21, in Yemen, affirming that it is an important step in the process of democratization in the country.
” On behalf of the United States, I want to congratulate the people of Yemen on the current successful presidential election”, Clinton said in a statement.
She noted that it is just the first step in a long and complex process of transformation and still need all the steps following the process of political and constitutional reform.
The presidential election sends a clear message to the world that the Yemeni people are looking forward to a brighter future and democracy, Clinton added.
Clinton confirmed that the U.S. and its partners would continue its support to Yemen, because Yemen has worked to implement the reforms and to face the challenges, so that Yemeni people can achieve their aspirations and ambitions.
Russia also praised on Wednesday the success of the early presidential election held on Tuesday.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a news conference held in Moscow that "Russia welcomes the efforts of the Yemeni authorities that ensured presidential elections to be held as scheduled."
He said that the large participation in the election indicated the majority population's keenness on succeeding the political process in order to normalize the country's social and economic situations, maintain its territorial integrity.
"We hope that all Yemeni parties will spare no effort to resolve the priority issues and cooperate constructively with the new president-elect," Lukashevich said.
He stressed his country's keenness on continuing to present assistance to Yemen to settle all interior issues.
Britain has welcomed the presidential elections that took place last Tuesday in Yemen, which witnessed a high turnout of voters.
 “The high turnout witnessed by the voting process, including the turnout of women, affirms the government's commitment to the laws of the transitional phase", British Foreign Secretary, William Hague said in a statement.
The Yemenis, through the large turnout, have affirmed their rejection of attempts to impede the election, Hague added.
Also, he noted that the Yemen election is an important stage in the implementation of the political change plan, sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
He urged Yemenis to work together for the future of their country, renewing at the same time his country's support for the political process in Yemen.
The French government on Thursday welcomed the holding of the presidential ballot in Yemen earlier this week and said it was "an important step" in peaceful transition in that country.
France "expresses its congratulation, its support and confidence in Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi," who was former deputy leader and the only candidate in this week's ballot.
"It is important now that all parties show they are capable of reaching the aspirations for contributing in a responsible, constructive and peaceful manner to the success of the democratic process," the statement added, urging Yemenis to work for unity and prosperity.
"The elections is a new step in the peaceful and orderly transition undertaken in Yemen on the basis of the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council States, which was agreed by the Yemeni parties and supported by the (UN) Security Council," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Thursday China welcomed holding the presidential election last Tuesday in Yemen.
In a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei pinned hopes on restoring the situation in Yemen to normal after the election as soon as possible.
Lei voiced his country's hopes that "all the concerned sides to exert joint efforts to ensure a peaceful and organized political transition to return the social system to normal and realize the stability and development in the country."
Spain also welcomed the presidential election that took place last Tuesday in Yemen, considering it a major step towards the democratic transition and the start of a new phase in Yemen's history.
Spanish Foreign Ministry renewed in a statement Wednesday its full support for democratic transition process in Yemen.
It confirmed its intention to continue to work with the Yemeni government and the various spectra of Yemeni society to face the future challenges in various fields
Millions of Yemenis cast Tuesday votes in the early presidential election, in which the sole consensus candidate is Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi according to the GCC-brokered and UN-backed initiative signed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, last November.
After a year of unrest and bloody clashes between supporters and opponents of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) helped broker a deal that provided for Saleh's departure and immunity after more than three decades in power.
The presidential poll and the national dialogue conference are part of the peace deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed the deal in November 2011 in return for immunity from prosecution, a move that saw him hand over power to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the only consensus candidate in Tuesday's poll.
As new president, Hadi will lead a two-year transitional government tasked with amending the constitution and holding parliamentary elections.

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