Al-Sahwa [Archives:2008/1206/Press Review]

November 10 2008

Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008
Top Stories

– Ibb-based JMP branch holds broad meeting to activate efforts of boycotting voter registration committees

– Head of Islah Party parliamentary bloc: Government has no humanitarian actions toward Hadramout catastrophe

– JMP sticks to reforming the election system

Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) has stressed the necessity of carrying out all-out election reforms as a positive step toward peaceful and democratic change, the website reported, adding that during its regular meeting, the opposition coalition stated it would struggle in order to amend the election law according to the Agreement of Principles it signed with the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) and the European Union Election Observation Mission.

JMP further stressed that it would do its best to eliminate all illegitimate procedures taken by the ruling party regarding elections and approve a new draft election law which includes recommendations of EUEOM, Agreement of Principles, as well as real representation of women.

According to the website, in its report on Yemen's presidential and local elections in September 20006, EUEOM recommended that the proportional list should be adopted. Consequently, we worked harder after those elections to execute the mutually agreed-upon recommendations. There are other issues related with the election management body and voter registers. Some of these issues were contained in the proposed amendments to the election law while others not as the authority claimed that it faced difficulty treating those issues.

The opposition parties also emphasized the necessity of annulling all the procedures made after August 18, if Yemen wants to prepare well for the upcoming electoral process. Situations seem to have improved. “And we always attempt to improve conditions of the electoral process and annul the post-August 18 procedures. I think that the upcoming elections will not be conducted unless all the requirements of free and fair elections are satisfied,” the JMP chairman, Sultan Al-Atwani said.

All the procedures so far taken by GPC contradict the electoral legislation, the Constitution and the norms according to which political parties behaved during non-election times. Al-Atwani noted, “We therefore labeled these procedures as illegal and any actions taken by SCER or its affiliate committees are illegal too. We clearly declared that we never accept any procedure taken by the illegally-composed SCER, and therefore refused to participate in the voter registration committees in order for us not to look as submissive to what takes place on the ground.”