Al-Baidani shocked as Parliament drops his name [Archives:2006/964/Front Page]

July 17 2006

By: Mohamed Bin Sallam
SANA'A, July 15 ) Dr. Abdurrahman Abdurrabu Al-Muradi Al-Baidani, who submitted his nomination documents to apply for president in the upcoming elections, was shocked that his name was dropped from the candidates' list under the pretext that he's married to an Egyptian woman.

What does dropping Al-Baidani's name – minutes before listing the names of eligible candidates to Parliament – mean? Was it done out of malignance or fear of competition? Was it the result of MP mood or implementation of orders from higher authorities?

There's justification that his wife is Egyptian, as Yemen's Constitution stipulates that the candidate mustn't be married to a foreigner, meaning she has no Arab citizenship.

Even if it's assumed that an Arab Egyptian wife hasn't had Yemeni citizenship for 50 years now, she's already of Arab origin, blood and affiliation and speaks Arabic. So, who allows those concerned to drop the name of her husband, applying for president, from the list? It's a shameful excuse. Where are the slogans Arab leaders usually chant about nationalism, unity of land, blood and destiny? They speak of facts, but never explain them to the public.

Al-Baidani occupied several posts after the revolution: Vice President of the Revolution Leadership Council, Vice President of the Republic, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Deputy High Commander of the Armed Forces, Minister of Economy and Minister of Minerals, being appointed to any post by Revolution Leadership Council consensus. He also was selected to defend the revolution and the republic.

The following are Al-Baidani's answers to questions forwarded by the Yemen Times as to why he was dropped from the presidential candidates' list”

“It's a decision from President [Ali Abdullah] Saleh himself, as he fears real competition. But the reason announced is that I was dropped because my wife is Egyptian. I don't think this is the justification, since my nomination documents included my wife's passport, issued during the imamate rule with registry number 115 on September 6, 1956 – 50 years ago – and since then, she's held Yemeni passports.

“It's a shame to deny a Yemeni revolution advocate – one who assumed the highest posts and participated in the revolution – the right to apply for president. No one would imagine his name being dropped from the list of candidates, following 44 years of historic effort, under the pretext that he's married to an Egyptian who's held several Yemeni passports since the revolution,” he stated.

Al-Baidani added, “Abdulaziz Abdulghani advised me to withdraw a few hours before the names of eligible candidates were announced. I informed him that I was ready to withdraw after the announcement of eligible candidates. I met with President Saleh and agreed with him on how to achieve comprehensive reforms. If he promised to adopt them, I was ready to withdraw. I went on advising him, under condition that he would vow to implement these reforms. I suggested that I could be appointed an unannounced advisor to him, without any post, so citizens couldn't interpret my withdrawal as a deal with Saleh.”

Al-Baidani continued, “Saleh's decision not to nominate me is considered an announcement by the statesman that he doesn't intend to implement any reforms in the country and that he'll never welcome any advice from me, whether in private or in public.

“The country is projected to face frustration and recession as a result of unemployment, poverty, starvation and despair. The time bomb of terrorism will remain unchecked due to rampant corruption in the country.

“Due to absence of the will to reform in a strategic location, this country won't be allowed to invest because of being a time bomb for terrorism. Yemenis are fed up with the regime and nobody can imagine that they'll tolerate the tragedy,” he went on.

Asked about evidence that Saleh dropped his name from the presidential candidates' list, Al-Baidani replied, “First, all of the executive and legislative apparatuses operate according to directives from Saleh and he's the official in charge of the committee that examined applications. The reason is logical because he's chairman of the ruling party.

“The second reason is Abdulghani's attempt to persuade me to withdraw from the nomination, as he can never do anything unless directed by the president and this fact is known by everyone. Finally, Saleh is the only one to benefit from dropping my name. These are some of the reasons persuading me and public opinion at the local and international levels that Saleh doesn't accept any real competition,” Al-Baidani said.

“I presented 27 books to various Yemeni, Arab and international libraries on economic reforms in Yemen, as well as on the required means of development for Yemenis and establishing a modern state, for the sake of which we were called to revolt. Establishing a modern state can't be achieved by replacing one ruler with another or replacing the imamate scarf with the military cap,” he commented.

Al-Baidani concluded, “The justification of my wife being Egyptian is attributed to the fact that she didn't behave like other women from tribes surrounding Sana'a, who used to support the republican regime by day but behaved as imamate supporters in the evening. My wife was in charge of trafficking arms to revolutionaries, who then carried them to Aden, Taiz and Sana'a.

“If all of these revolutionaries passed away, anyone intending to examine the facts can ask Gen. Mohamed Qaied Saif, a member of the Revolution Leadership Council, who is still alive. Such a historic fact is correct and never accepts controversy. Additionally, nobody could imagine that my wife isn't Yemeni after 44 years. However, I have explained that my name was dropped from the competition, which is supposed to be free and fair.”