After years of antagonismPGC & YSP get intimate [Archives:2005/877/Front Page]

September 15 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
SANA'A- Sept.13- After years of tension and antagonism, the ruling People's General Congress (PGC) and the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), the primary partners in achieving national unity, resumed close relations and intimacy following elections of the YSP's leadership.

The PGC's General Secretariat chaired by President Ali Abdullah Saleh held a meeting on the description of tasks and responsibilities with members of the YSP's Political Office, presided over by Dr. Yasin Sa'eed Numan who was appointed the Parliament Speaker after achieving the national unity in 1990.

Such a meeting was described as positive and it was held in atmosphere of intimacy, transparency and openness on dealing with a number of issues and subjects of concern to both parties.

A source in the YSP mentioned the two parties discussed the issue of the loss of properties prior owned by the YSP but confiscated in 1994 war. The parties reached an agreement on the continuity of dialogue on the restoration of properties.

For his part, Tariq al-Shami, Head of the PGC's Media Unit denied that his party dialogued with the YSP with the objective of giving compensations or fomenting a crisis among the Opposition Joint Meeting Parties, reliable sources said, adding that he also denied that both made any mention of a coalition government.

Al-Shami told the Yemen Times such closeness between the two parties may cause doubt and sensitivity on the part of the other opposition parties, and this closeness is merely part of a series of dialogues the ruling party, under President Saleh, is planning to hold with the opposition parties.

“We care for normalizing relations with the YSP mainly after seeing outcomes of the YSP's fifth conference that stressed on maintaining the national unity, in addition to the selection of new faces eligible for dialoguing with other parties on different issues”, al-Shami stated. “We agreed to form a dialogue committee to meet in every fifteen days and in case the situation urges so, and we in the PGC see that continuing the dialogue will bring about a political vivacity in the country.”

In a statement to the Yemen Times, Dr. Ahmad Ubeid Bin Daghr, Head of the YSP's Political Unit and member of the dialogue committee confirmed the idea of holding a dialogue was suggested immediately after the 1994 war, however the several dialogues proceeded on marginal issues.

“Realizing the primary importance of establishing the culture of forgiveness and eliminating malignance, the PGC represented by HE President Saleh called for holding a meeting with the YSP,” Dr. Bin Daghr pointed out.

“The two-party dialogue will help create a suitable environment for discussing issues related to governance, human rights, press freedoms, as well as other freedoms ensured by the Yemeni Constitution.”

Considering the PGC the winning party after the 1994 war, the YSP did not accept the fate and bore opposing ideas as expressed more than once by al-Thowri paper, mouthpiece of the party.

The YSP perceives that issues related to the harassment of some of its leading figures and extortion of its properties can be tackled only through dialogue, according to Dr. Daghr.

Regarding concerns expected to be shown by the Islah party, the YSP's staunch ally in the joint meeting, over the dialogue, Dr. Ahmad Bin Daghr said “we are committed to what we agreed on the opposition joint meeting council and hope relations to improve between all the opposition parties.”