Al-Sahwa [Archives:2008/1152/Press Review]

May 5 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008
Top Stories

– 181 HIV-infected cases discovered in Hodeida until the end of last March

– Parliamentary report discloses great violations in Marib Gas Station

– Dhalea Penal Court condemns 20 suspects of fueling violence

– Dhalea Education Faculty students protest against authorities for detaining classmates

– Dozens killed, injured in renewed Sa'ada clashes, new mediation committee search for means to implement ceasefire agreement

– Governor elections may not tackle Yemen's pressing problems

Gubernatorial elections are futile and meaningless under the current system of governance that makes governors merely administrative agents for the central authority, mainly as the most recent initiatives indicated local governance with broad powers in 'seeming unserious statements', the website quoted NDI Country Director Peter Dimitroff as saying.

In an interview with, Dimitroff questioned why are governors elected, but not given complete local powers with regard to taxes, national resources and local legislations, for instance. He considers elected governors under the current political system as merely administrators for the central government.

NDI Country Director added, “Gubernatorial election was a hurriedly taken decision by the National Defense Council, as if we are in a state of emergency.” I don't believe that electing governors urgently may help resolve the current issues.

Dimitroff stressed the necessity of the Ministry of Local Administration establishing a clear strategy to delegate powers to local officials, adding, “What we need is a clear strategy clarifying the steps of moving toward local governance with broad powers.”

Dimitroff clarified that NDI agrees with the JMP's viewpoint and feels that JMP member parties don't object to governor elections. These parties want a clear strategic vision to be based on clear steps for moving toward local governance and governor elections.

He feared that the initiative to elect governors came as a reaction to resolve the current situations in the country, saying, “I don't think this will be a workable solution to the current situation.”