Al-Wahdawi [Archives:2008/1132/Press Review]

February 25 2008

Tuesday, February 19
Top Stories

– International court fines Yemen more than YR 3.5 million

– UAE's authorities prevent Yemeni President's Advisor to return home

– Yemeni court accuses Saudi Arabia of training terrorists

– JMP discusses Sa'ada turmoil with Prime Minister

– JMP threatens to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections

Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) threaten to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections, and any other polls, over what the opposition parties described as 'the authority's insistence to keep the election system unreformed', the weekly reported. The opposition parties demand the government should eliminate the millions of violations in the voter register, apply the proportional list system and allow all the social groups and classes get represented in all the elected councils.

Head of NGOs' Department in the Yemeni Socialist Party Ali Al-Sarari said the opposition has to adopt a decisive position to reverse the electoral process's conditions. Otherwise, any upcoming elections may be meaningless, according to Al-Sarari. During a symposium organized by Islah Party's Media & Culture Department in Sana'a two days ago, Al-Sarari noted that all the general elections so far conducted in Yemen lacked integrity and transparency because of being accompanied by violations, coupled with the government's dominance over the various proceedings of the electoral process.

Al-Sarari renewed the opposition parties' call for reforming the election system, believed as a key approach to carrying out comprehensive political reforms in the country, pointing out that JMP favors the proportional list system in the upcoming elections to ensure that the different social groups and classes get represented in the elected bodies. He commented that the parliament formations so far seen in Yemen since 1993 seemed to have been representing only a particular social group, as well as being mostly comprised of influential tribal leaders and businessmen.

According to Al-Sarari, the proportional list system may help all the social groups get equal representation in Parliament and have their concerns and voices heard by the country's legislative authority. As the country has experienced so far unfair elections, people became pessimistic about changing the country's dire situation.