Al-Ahmar rejects JMP’s possible nomination of Saleh [Archives:2006/949/Front Page]

May 25 2006

SANA'A, May 24 ) MP Sheikh Hamid Abdullah Al-Ahmar renewed his rejection of a unanimously nominated candidate by the ruling party and opposition in the upcoming presidential race, attributing his strong rejection to his care for opposition parties.

“I think that any Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) and ruling party consensus to nominate the current president in this September's elections is bound to impact the former and cause them to lose credibility and suffer conflicts from within,” Al-Ahmar said. “The JMP may destroy themselves if they do this. It is impossible for the nation to tolerate the totalitarian regime and its failed policies.”

In a dialogue with Al-Sahwah weekly, Al-Ahmar confirmed that the ruling party is driving citizens toward a nationwide revolution by blocking any change outlets via proper political means. According to him, the matter is in the hands of the authority able to overcome problems and increase public electoral awareness via the media to help citizens exercise their political right without the need for engaging in conflicts.

“The ruling party's stronghold on the throne, plus its lack of faith that the nation is in need of change to build a modern Yemen, are the primary reasons behind ruling party and opposition dialogues reaching an impasse,” Al-Ahmar noted.

He called on the JMP not to participate in unfair elections that may not lead to real change, particularly as the General People's Congress (GPC) destroyed democracy's meaning by controlling the voter registration process individually, refusing calls for multi-party electoral management to prepare fraud-free voter registries.

“Legitimacy is not based on addresses and debates by state employees; rather, legitimacy stems from citizens' needs,” Al-Ahmar added. He called for establishing an electoral mechanism to help voters express their opinions, stressing that the ballot must reflect the voters' will.

Al-Ahmar denied having any desire to run for president in the upcoming election, saying a man of reason and logic should not apply for such matters unless it is a must. He emphasized peaceful transfer of power and building a modern state via fair and transparent elections.

According to Al-Ahmar's son, Yemen is in need of establishing a principle for peaceful transfer of power and living in an atmosphere free of violations.

“If President Ali Abdullah Saleh does not back out on his historic decision not to stand in this September's presidential elections, he will reach a great achievement for his country. If Saleh insists on his declaration, this will be a great achievement similar in importance to establishing national unity,” Al-Ahmar stated.

Various media outlets mentioned that Speaker of Parliament Al-Ahmar, who chairs Yemen's Islah Party, criticized the stance taken by his son and some minor sheikhs in Hashid, who call for what they describe as “Popular Revolution.”

Al-Ahmar renewed his refusal to sign any political statement or document at the present time. Minimizing the importance of his son, he said Yemen has judicious men to be in charge of such matters and considered his son's declarations as merely statements of anger, media quoted reliable sources as saying.