Due to a Shortage of Financial and Human Resources, 75% of Local Councils are Inactive PROJECTOF LOCAL COUNCILS:  UNDENIABLE FAILURE [Archives:2001/30/Front Page]

July 23 2001

Prime Minister Abdulqadir Bajammal shocked many supervisors, local and international, with his announcement that he would not continue implementing the local council authorities in three fourths of all Yemeni provinces in the Republic of Yemen. The Prime Minister admitted during the inauguration ceremony of a training session for secretaries and chairmen of local council elections in Sanaa last week that the lack of financial, human, and other resources are the main reason for this decision. In his statement, he mentioned that around 332 of Yemen’s provinces will not have their local councils activated, putting the idea of local elections as a whole at risk.
Bajammal said that there aren’t many provinces that are capable of running their sophisticated financial security-related, commercial and other affairs independently.
The PM openly and surprisingly criticized the current situation of local councils in most governorates of lacking qualified and skilled personnel, and lacking the most essential equipment for the professional task of management and other operations. He also sarcastically said that there are still ongoing efforts by some individuals and groups to try to illegally change the managers of local councils of some provinces who had been elected in local councils elections held in February 2001.
He added that there are currently only around 60 provinces that have the capacity to implement the local council system in full.
He also threatened to return to financial and administrative centralization capable of carrying out their internal programs and projects effectively.
Bajammal also said that the opposition parties are trying to outbid the General People’s Congress (GPC) on its vision of the local councils system by demanding governors and chairmen of provinces be elected instead of appointed.
“Some provinces are saturated with illiteracy, where you can hardly find more than 18 people able to read and write, so how can we find appropriately qualified managers through elections?” He said.
This comes at a time when there are still several local councils that have not completed their electoral process until now . According to political analysts, this statement of Bajammal proves that the decision of having local elections at this time was in itself a historic mistake due to the lack of many prerequisites and a lack of time for such a gigantic project. They assert that all the current circumstances and surrounding events suggest that the local election project has so far proven itself to be an undeniable failure.