After 44 years, Yemen still has many tasks ahead [Archives:2006/985/Front Page]

September 28 2006

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, Sept. 27 ) Giving the first address on the 44th anniversary of the Sept. 26 Revolution following last week's election victory, President Ali Abdullah Saleh confirmed that the Sept. 20 presidential and local council elections provided a profile of institutional and constitutional construction for Yemen's democratic community. “The latest elections established democracy to the greatest extent,” Saleh noted.

The Yemeni leader pointed out that the electoral process was one of the revolution's achievements. He affirmed many tasks remain ahead for the new state, in particular, continuing efforts to attain economic, social and cultural development, in addition to confronting development challenges, poverty and unemployment.

According to Saleh, the new Yemen will work to create more job opportunities for youth, fight corruption and terrorism, establish principles of freedom, justice and democracy and a state of law and order.

He emphasized that Yemen's next stage will witness more job opportunities in numerous areas, as well as supporting the poor and needy to improve their skills and living standards. Saleh's new agenda aims to help the poor acquire small and medium-sized enterprises, consider productive families and enlighten the minds of youth to become self-reliant. His agenda also aims to mold youth into a productive and effective energy in the march toward constructing and updating the nation.

The president indicated that the coming time period will witness development in Yemen's foreign relations, as well as plans for entry into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is due to enhance both economic partnership and cultural and political cooperation.

On Tuesday, Yemen celebrated the anniversary of the Sept. 26 Revolution 44 years ago, when liberals revolted against the tyrannous imamate regime, which had forced Yemenis to live in illiteracy and isolation from the external world. Such liberals sacrificed their lives and all they had for the sake of liberating Yemen.

Following the revolution's success, the oppressive imamate regime was toppled and a republican regime declared. Speaking about the revolution in detail isn't an easy task and requires much time and effort.

Citizens today should acknowledge that the Sept. 26 Revolution gave new birth to Yemenis and that talking about the past 44 years must be measured in light of development achievements attained in areas of education, health and development.

Despite the fact that both North Yemen's Sept. 26 Revolution and South Yemen's Oct. 14 Revolution succeeded, it took both parts to attain stability and development. Yemenis suffered lack of stability for a long time and still suffer the consequences of illiteracy and conflicts.

There were no real moves toward development in the 1960s and '70s. After the Sept. 26 Revolution erupted, political and tribal forces engaged in conflicts for power and governance. Violence and chaos spread in various parts of the nation, killing many innocent people, and such conflicts hindered development in numerous areas.

One can say that Yemen's development actually began in 1974 during the reign of former President Ibrahim Al-Hamdi, who set development policies by announcing five-year plans covering various parts of Yemen. However, Al-Hamdi remained in power only four years, leaving behind numerous achievements that President Saleh completed.

Saleh was elected president in 1978 and since has established stability and ended all political and tribal conflicts. He achieved successful agreements with various political forces, which came out with the National Pact. Saleh could inspire trust in people, which helped him continue the march and drive forward the wheels of development.

During his lengthy reign, President Saleh has attained a large number of achievements, mainly establishing national unity, democracy, peaceful transfer of power and efforts toward Yemen's GCC admission.