Annas [Archives:2003/635/Press Review]

May 12 2003

5 May 2003
Main headlines:
– Opposition: Option of withdrawal still valid
– Al-Hakeemi, Al-Ja'abi join the Islah
– Mystery engulfs SARS disease in Yemen
– In Aden, security force attack peaceful gathering refusing election doctoring.
On lessons derived from the parliamentary elections in Yemen, Dr Saif al-A'sali says no doubt that results of the war on Iraq have given additional importance to results of the Yemeni elections. The slogan raised by the United States of America in its war on Iraq was that of ''liberating'' Iraq from dictatorship and building a democratic country to be an example to be followed by the rest of Arab countries in the region. Upon this the American interest in the Yemeni elections was clear.
Many Arab intellectuals and political movements attributed defeat of the former Iraqi regime to non-existence of democracy and consequently saving other Arab countries from the same destiny faced by Iraq could be in hastening in democratizing those countries and that has made the Yemeni elections a point of interest.
Among the lessons that can be derived from these elections are:
attaining of real democracy needs a very long time, the high cost of democratic change, especially for the opposition parties, if the opposition parties are prevented from using force to assume power, the ruling party should not use power to remain in power force, the importance of the outside factor in the democratic change, the moral commitment of the United States in supporting the emerging democracies.