Economic warning at Islah conference”Potential disaster” [Archives:2005/816/Front Page]

February 14 2005

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein al-Ahmar, speaker of Parliament and head of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah), warned of stormier waters ahead in Yemen's political and economic life.

With an oil price hike still around the corner, in fact, Yemen's economic situation entails a “potential disaster,” while addressing the Islah's Third Conference on Feb. 12.

He said “the current deteriorating political and economic situation necessitates a responsible stand taken by all political and social forces, working together, not from personal or party interests, to take the country away from the dark impasse it is going through, before it is too late.

“The economic situation entails a serious potential disaster and that adding more burdens on the ordinary citizens will lead to more congestion and increase the level of poverty. All wise men should work to avoid the disaster,” he said, while addressing 3,000 conferees, hinting at the upcoming rise in the price of oil derivatives which the government approved of in the 2005 budget.

The Islah party said this conference, which was held amid heavy security measures, is focusing on the freedoms and the living standards of the people.

Yemeni Socialist Party's assistant secretary-general Jarallah Omar was assassinated during the first round of the Islah conference held in December 28, 2002.

Al-Ahmar said that his party, despite of the difficulties it has been facing, decided to hold this round in order to “enhance the Shura and Democratic path the party has taken.”

He stressed that “the democratic process in Yemen has deteriorated tremendously during the last two years which we can not accept.” He called the Islah members to work hard ” through enhancing the freedoms and exercising their constitutional rights away from extremism.”

The Parliamentary speaker did not talk elaborately, as usual, on the Arab and Muslim or world current issues. He glanced at what he said the miseries of the people in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya and others who he said “deserve our support and we should help them as much as we can.”

It is expected that the party should have discussed the issue of the next leadership of the party which will be elected during the fourth conference to be held in December 2006.

Al-Ahmar and Mohammed al-Yadumi, Secretary-General are expected to leave office then, as they can not run for these positions again.