By-elections to Be Held on 14 October [Archives:2001/37/Front Page]

September 10 2001

The Supreme Elections Committee (SEC) announced last week that preparations are underway to hold on October 14 of this year by-elections for local councils in roughly 80 election centers nationwide. Some of the mishaps took place during the previous election where some candidates’ names and symbols were omitted which caused lots of problems in different parts of the Republic.
On the other hand, the meeting of the Political Committee for Dialogue held last Saturday at the Permanent Committee of the PGC came to a dead end as there still are many disagreements between the government and the opposition parties over certain articles related to the new draft law on elections.
Yemen Times learned that the principal disputed articles discussed at the meeting pertain to the election centers, participation of the army in elections, as well as neutrality and independence of the Elections Supreme Committee (ESC) and the official media.
In the same context, the Islah Party insisted on correcting the electorate registration lists and removing all duplicated names in order to ensure fair and transparent elections. The current controversy over the election draft law aims to avoid the irregularities occurred during the previous elections which resulted in severe disagreements between the ruling party, the PGC, and the opposition parties.
Moreover, some opposition parties along with the Islah Party accused the Election Supreme Committee of being biased with regard to the elections held on April 20 of this year and decided to sue the ESC accused of failing to properly manage the election.
The disputed new election law entitles the President of the Republic to form the Supreme Election Committee through appointments. The opposition parties firmly stand against the proposed amendments which they see as limiting Yemen’s democratic experience.
The Yemeni Socialist Party issued last Thursday a statement condemning the exclusion of the opposition parties in the formation of the election supervising committees set up for the forthcoming by-elections, saying that the by-elections will be held in centers where the opposition parties won the election resulting in screening of the results by the authorities.