Authority treats people with spirit of revenge [Archives:2008/1127/Opinion]

February 7 2008

By:Ahmad Mohammed Abdulghani
It is known that dialogue is the ideal and civilized means for dealing with pressing issues encountering individuals, groups and states. A civilized dialogue leads to fruitful results that place the dialoguing parties before facts that have been absent from them for decades. It also represents an urgent necessity for all those concerned with public issues at the different levels in light of their obligations, which they have to fulfill in an appropriate manner to help people reach their legal interest and expectations.

When people's expectations and demands remain unmet, the concerned government officials lose the eligibility and legitimacy of staying in their senior government posts for a longer time period. Consequently, they are held accountable for consequences of the dire situations since they don't care much about doing their jobs in the required way.

As the various political, economic and social problems experienced in our country are hindering progress of development in the different spheres, and thwarting the national project for building the modern state of Yemen, those having observed the experience of dialogue in our country over the past two years are expected to see the other face of the tragedy, which is the product of the government's poor policies.

Undoubtedly, the Yemeni authority proved not to tolerate dialogue in its general constructive perspective. It only deals with dialogue in an opportunistic manner like it did when trying to address numerous issues. For instance, at the very beginning of 2006, this authority refused to conduct a real and serious dialogue on the different steps taken so for ahead of that year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Without consulting other political partners, this authority amended the Election Law and finished the basic stages of the voter registration process, and having made sure that the essential electoral arrangements are completed, it then opened the door for dialogue with other political forces. Then both parties reached the so-called “Agreement of Principles” on June 18, 2008. But, despite significance of this agreement to finish the final stages of the electoral process and add the political legitimacy to it, the authority only implemented formal (futile) things in the agreement and abandoned the other vital ones. It also made countless mistakes and legal violations against the agreement, a fact that has been so far explained by field reports of many local and international organizations. The most recent of those reports was the one prepared by Yemen Human Rights Observatory.

In the wake of 2006 presidential and local council elections partners of the political process in Yemen took part, via a European Union Election Observation Mission's initiative, in a new dialogue, which concluded with signing the “Democracy Agreement in the Republic of Yemen” on December 11 of the same year.

That was done in the presence of Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, Chief Observer of the EUEOM, who signed the agreement as a witness.

The agreement stipulated that the dialoguing parties must enhance cooperation and partnership between Yemen's political parties in the areas of democratic development and give equal chances to all the Yemeni people with the aim of supporting exploitation of human resources and energies in favor of the national interest. As long as the ruling authority confiscated everything in the life of Yemeni citizens and monopolized all the institutional instruments, it must be exclusively responsible for implementing the agreement and applying it in real-life situation.

But, as this authority never remains committed to obligations, covenants and conventions, it was normal for the agreement to be left in drawers before its ink dried up. This authority believes that putting such documents in drawers is the only means that can help it escape addressing the public issues it has been facing for a long time period.

Source: Al-Ahali Weekly