Al-Mithaq [Archives:2008/1148/Press Review]

April 21 2008

Wednesday, April 16

Top Stories

– President Saleh orders government to put a stop to land plundering

– Prime Minister urges donors to extend more support for education

– Ruling party plans to form Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum alone as JMP hinders dialogue

– Academics: Gubernatorial election is a unique step in the Arab world, proves credibility of President Saleh's platform

Academics, politicians and educated people from Taiz governorate unanimously agreed that Parliament's approval of Local Authority Law amendment to elect governors by local councilors in governorates and districts proves credibility of President Ali Abdullah's platform, as well as the promises he made to people ahead of 2006 presidential election that gave Saleh another 7-year term, the website reported. It quoted those academics and politicians as saying that such a project is a distinctive step in the Arab region because it is aimed at enhancing democracy and increasing popular participation.

According to the ruling party-affiliated news website, Taiz academics politicians and educated elite hold the view that the decision to elect governors and mayor of the capital city is a very important step on the way to applying local governance with broad powers in Yemen. They indicated that local governance with broad powers will enable governorates' citizens elect the most eligible candidates to manage their affairs, address their issues and meet their needs.

According to the website, Yemen News Agency, Saba, reported that Parliament approved on Tuesday amendment of an article of the Local Authority Law by putting a condition that applicants for governor posts should be registered in the voter register of the governorates, where they will nominate themselves. It added that the majority of Parliament members voted for amending the relevant article.

Sources in Parliament said that the government side asked to re-discuss the approved article, adding that the Parliamentary local authority committee recommended that the age of the candidate should be 40 years instead of 35 years. Last week, President Ali Abdullah Saleh called Parliament to approve the amendments, determining April 27 as the date for conducting gubernatorial elections.