Control of elections amid support & doubt [Archives:2003/630/Community]

April 7 2003

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Efforts at controlling the elections and preventing their neutrality become the focus of attention of some politicians and other organizations, while democracy in Yemen was still in its stage of infancy.
In addition, all the election bylaws and legislation are still in the process of being drawn up and tried and. There is a need to enhance and improve the democratic experience.
Political observers see that the non-government organizations can play an important role in monitoring elections to ensure that the election process remains a neutral, since these organizations are representative of the society and constitute an integral part of the public.
For healthy, honest and competitive elections, the presence of these organizations is indispensable.
Participants during the National Organization for Monitoring Elections Seminar, (NOEC), which was held two weeks ago, recommended the following,
– Putting great stress on the necessity to include democratic concepts and practices within school and university curricula.
– Urging voters to cast their votes during elections.
– Reviewing some provisions of the Elections Law and its Procedural By-laws in order to include civil society organizations in the elections monitoring process.
– The political parties and the members of the Supreme Elections Committee must give easy access to community organizations to participate in the main and subordinate branch elections committees.
In the symposium, Mr. Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani, the Chairman of the Shoura Council (Consultative Council) said that the symposium tried to evaluate the local organizations' assessment and the mechanisms of monitoring elections at the local level.
The Chairman of the Shura council focused on the significance of elections in enhancing Yemen's democratic experience and in promoting democratic values among the public.
Dr. Khalid Jaghman, Research and Studies representative at the NOEC said that the main objectives of the NOEC are to enhance and deepen the democratic experience in Yemen.
The presence of the representatives of election monitoring committees is of great importance.
“We know that democratic work is valuable in the national work and that the NOEC will cover the whole election constituencies in the governorates of the republic,” Mr. Khalid said.
“We will retain those who have good knowledge in monitoring elections and will also cooperate with the local as well as international organizations in order to make ensure success of the election monitoring process,” he further noted.
The activation of local monitoring of elections comes at a time in which the inactive role of the international organizations was beginning to be felt.
It is to be worth noting that a number of the Yemen political parties have declared that they will reject to participate in the coming election in case of US or UK election supervisors attend.
It is anticipated that the international supervisors will be reduced compared to the last years.
These organizations have to play their role properly. More in sorrow than in anger, those organizations' ultimate aim is just to collect money, denotations and not to monitor to ensure neutral elections.
Some observers see that if those organizations have discard any political affiliation, it is believed that they will play a pivotal role in recording violations and infringement which might accompany the polling day due to be held in the coming month of April.