Democracy in the face of backwardness [Archives:2008/1158/Opinion]

May 26 2008

Mohammed Ahmad Abdulghani
Certainly, the triangle of poverty, illiteracy and illness is the ground, which the nightmare of backwardness depends on to establish its concepts and deep-root its bases, and consequently build its oppressive and totalitarian projects. All such projects are built at the expense of Yemen's future and the right of Yemeni citizens to lead a free and luxurious life.

It is widely known that severe poverty, poor living standards, deteriorating education and poor healthcare are the result of rampant corruption and irresponsible corrupt officials, who exhaust all the available material and spiritual capacities in the nation. These officials behave this way in order to maintain control of power, loot the country's resources and distribute them to irresponsible officials claiming to be loyal with the government.

According to consecutive international reports on the economic and political conditions in our homeland, corruption has broken a record in embezzling public funds and property. Corruption is observed to have been controlling demeanor of the government until the extent that the phenomenon left no distinction between the system of governance and corrupt officials.

No chance that corruption can be defected from the government under the case of full integration and indifference on the part of citizens who turned to associate any talk about the standing government with corruption. They also believe that any talk about the government has to do with corruption.

The relevant studies attribute the growing phenomenon to the evasive ruling elite that are never committed to building the modern state and enhancing the principles and concepts of democracy. Yemeni people are living under a fragile system of governance that has only weak components and structure.

The ruling elite only care about strengthening their positions at the expense of building a strong state and a strong community. Such a fact necessarily led to weakening the state and society as well.

Having realized that their political legitimacy is expiring, the ruling elite turned to boost role of the tribe in order to protect them from potential public wrath. And, the government stopped updating the tribal situation and halted developing the social constituents under an allegedly logical frame aimed at enhancing concepts of the modern state and contributing to the establishment of its constitutional institutions.

As a result, Yemen's system of governance is based on an unbalanced equation between the tribe and state. The government attempts to improve its image in the eye of people via raising deceptive slogans, exploiting official media outlets to deceive people, practicing news blackout and instigating public opinion against protests criticizing illegal practices by its authorities.

Under such an unbalanced equation that destroyed all the instruments, rules and systems of modernity, Yemeni citizens found themselves living under the cover of a formal state that manages the nation's issues according to contradictory policies. They realized that their government attempts to dedicate the principle of contradiction as a reality for depicting the current relation between people and the state, on the one hand, and among people as groups and individuals, on the other.

Source: Al-Ahali Weekly.