Aden’s prominent figures and businessmen stress:27 April 2003: A historic day for Yemen [Archives:2003/633/Reportage]

April 27 2003
Mr. Abdulkareem Shaef
Mr. Abdulkareem Shaef
Mr. Ibrahim Khalaf
Mr. Ibrahim Khalaf
Barakat Ali Darweesh
Barakat Ali Darweesh
Ridhwan Al-Saqqaf
No doubt, the 27th of April parliamentary elections were quite different than those that were held earlier. The growing competition and the increasing public's awareness of these elections have been clearly demonstrated in various parts of the country, including the economic capital Aden.
To shed light on the business community's impressions on the elections, a mini-survey on the 27th of April elections has been conducted by the Yemen Times Aden Bureau Chief, Ridhwan al-Saqqaf with a number of businessmen and other prominent figures.

Mr. Abdulkareem Shaef, Aden Vice Governor
The 27th of April elections are quite significant in Yemen's democratic experience, and will signal a historic event for all Yemenis.
It is clear that every year, tolerance and democratic values are being enhanced throughout the country. This is why I do believe that these elections will go very smoothly.
In particular, people in Aden demonstrated their high level of awareness of their rights in voting for their candidates freely.
Efforts have been exerted by Aden governorate throughout the election centers in Aden's constituencies in order to make this event as free and successful as possible.
This has come in a time in which the city witnessed massive and well-organized election campaigns and rallies for all candidates in the city.

Mr. Ibrahim Khalaf, Aden Refinery's Relation Manager
The 27th of April elections resemble an important event to emphasize our insistence to continue on the path towards more democracy and to show the world that we are heading forward in consolidating our democratic experience.
Yemenis have the right to choose their representatives in the parliament this year, just like they had their right in earlier elections in 1993 and 1997.
People are quite aware of the significance of practicing their democratic rights throughout the country, in villages and cities.
I can confidently tell you that the increase in number of eligible voters in these elections compared to earlier ones is a good sign for our country.

Shiekh Saleh Bathowab, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the National Industry for Matches & Cigarettes Company Ltd.
The 27th of April elections characterize the will of Yemen to practice democracy and enable the citizen to freely choose his/her representatives in the parliament. This right is guaranteed by the constitution and is now shaping up in our country.
This experience will further enhance the public's understanding of democratic values and encourage them to vote again in future elections.
Yemenis have shown an adherence to the laws that regulate the voting and election process. This will definitely yield free elections with no pressure on voters.
The fact that all political parties are participating in those elections is a clear example of the legitimacy and high standards of this year's elections. Women's role as voters in these elections has proven to be greater than that of the 1997 elections.

Hisham Abdullah al-Saqqaf, General Manager of Gulf Navigation Agency-Yemen
These elections demonstrate that Yemen's is now has a strong and solid foundation as a country based on democracy and freedom.
The participation of so many political parties in these elections is clear evidence that Yemen is on the irreversible path towards more freedom and democracy. The competition that can be noticed in the press is also a demonstration that the freedom of the press is also exhibited by publishing various opinions.
Those who look at our ancient history will realize that democracy is deeply rooted in our society and today, democracy is appearing in its glorious pictures.

Captain Barakat Ali Darweesh, Director of Yemen-Green Navigation Co.
The twenty seventh of April will definitely be a great day in Yemen's recent history. This is the day we, Yemenis, have freely practiced our rights in voting in one of the most vital elections ever held in our democratizing country.
Yemenis realize that their rights are being preserved and guaranteed by the constitution and have become acquainted with democracy ever since the 22nd of May, 1990.
Democracy has always been one of the desires of all nations on our planet. We are glad that Yemen is now slowly becoming an example for other countries in the developing world in terms of dedication towards perfect democracy, which is the only way to secure true freedom, development, and prosperity for Yemen.

Abdurahman al-Kuhali, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Yemen
What has been accomplished on the 27th of April 2003 is a consolidation of the democratic experience of Yemen and a clear confirmation of our people's awareness of the importance of elections. This day is one of the fruits of the blessed re-unification achieved on May 22, 1990.
Through these elections, Yemenis were able to freely choose their representative in the parliament under no pressure whatsoever.
Yemen has witnessed considerable growth in terms of allowed freedoms in all levels including the freedom of speech and expression and human rights.
The pre-elections registrations and the elections campaign were both quite successful and went very smoothly. There were no political battles and tensions among the different parties, meaning that we are on the right path towards completing Yemen's most successful parliamentary elections.