General People’s Congress: The need for re-assessment [Archives:2002/35/Viewpoint]

August 26 2002

The inauguration session of the second regular convention of the sixth conference of the ruling party, General People’s Congress (GPC) that took place last Saturday should be an opportunity for the party to re-evaluate its performance in the last few years.
Large numbers of voters have started expressing their disappointment with the level of reforms implemented in the recent past. There have been continuous victories for opposition parties including Islah in opinion polls and even in the latest local elections.
The GPC like any other party has its positive and negative points. Its points of weakness are starting to emerge by the day and sometimes they are exposed and taken advantage of by the opposition. This is why the upcoming parliamentary elections will be crucial to predict the party’s future.
Under the leadership of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the GPC accomplished many achievements and implemented many projects including Yemeni unity, border dispute resolutions, operation of the Aden Container Terminal plus other achievements. However, even though those projects are good, they do not compensate the Yemeni people for the backwardness and miseries that they are living in today. Yemen ranks last among Arab nations before Djibouti in overall national income and standard of living. We are at the bottom of the list in terms of literacy, education, civic services, etc. Hence, the GPC’s role right now is not to look at what it has done, but to see how it could double, triple, and quadruple its efforts to achieve much greater goals.
The Yemeni people learn from the governmental media and officials that many things have been secured and the government had avoided them greater miseries. But through satellite dishes and receivers, people are becoming aware of the gap between Yemen and the rest of the world. They now see where we rank in the world development scale. They can measure their income and see how deprived and poor they are. At the same time, they also know that the country has plenty of resources and factors for more efficient economic reforms.
As the ruling party, the GPC has failed despite desperate calls to control the corruption phenomenon in the country. There are plenty of ways to confirm the rise in corruption cases in the country. This is a very well known issue that cannot be denied.
What is best for the GPC as a party and for its leader H.E. President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to re-assess its means to achieve better conditions for the people and know where it went wrong.
Elections are coming and people are becoming aware of the alternatives. Yes there are alternatives, and if the people arrive to the conclusion that despite its resources and power, the GPC was not able to achieve what they wanted, perhaps a party with fewer resources could become much better when given power to lead the country to prosperity.
A reassessment is necessary for a party that wants to grow, rise to the occasion, and continue to win the votes of the elections.
Anyhow, we wish the party’s leadership and members the best of luck in their convention and also wish them the best on their party’s 20th founding anniversary.