In defense of facts as they appear on the ground [Archives:2008/1169/Opinion]

July 3 2008

By: Abdulaziz Al-Hayajim
As the Country Director of National Democratic Institute Peter Dimitroff said the right word in the face of Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) and announced national issues in public, the opposition opened fire at the man and his organization. It uttered words that are impossible to be produced by a drunkard.

JMP expressed to NDI by phone its annoyance about what Dimitroff stated during an interview with Al-Wasat Weekly when the man criticized JMP member parties, likening them to a bus, which is driven by five people and doesn't stop for those on the roadside.

The man compared the opposition's threats to boycott the upcoming elections to'a mercy bullet', which the opposition may fire at itself.

Al-Thawri Weekly, Official Newspaper of Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) published a series of articles containing harsh criticism against Dimitroff. And, in another article published by Al-Wasat weekly under the headline “Dectagratic Institute”, the author accused Dimitroff of being partial with the authority and seeking to gratify it.

The author continued that Dimitroff is merely interested in creating activities for his institute by making Yemen conduct elections, even if these elections are accompanied by frauds and discrepancies. He also praised the former Country Director of NDI Robin Madrid, saying “Tribute to the kind lady.”

Accusations and defamations against Dimitroff multiplied until the reader may get convinced that the international official is a traitor for the government and the ruling party. Due to such false accusations, the readership may be persuaded that Dimitroff came to Yemen in order to make money for finishing his under-construction house in his homeland.

The author of the article in question continued accusing Dimitroff and EU representative, saying, “All that is simple in the dictionary of Dimitroff and EU representative and they don't offer something good for Yemen.” This statement makes us remember a Yemen example reading, “a blind woman variegates a crazy one.”

Mr. Dimitroff! They deny what you say but they themselves tell lies. They don't want anyone to say that this is right and that is wrong. They don't want to hear an objective speech, disclosing both positive and negative extremes of the equation. They don't accept any objective criticism, be it made by President of the Republic, a statesman, a ruling party official or an international expert. They don't accept any objective statements like yours.

Had the opposition parties had a wise man, he would have advised them how to be loyal with their homeland and care about protecting its unity and stability. Homeland protection must be given precedence over partisan activities and objectives.

Our fault is that we attribute false charges to the international expert and attack him in an irresponsible manner. It is not faulty if we utilize his experience and make use of his advice, particularly when he said, “All the ruling and oppositions parties must understand that states of mature democracy, such as the United States of America, don't experience ideal democratic experiences. Instead, these countries benefit from any mistakes they commit in order to improve their democratic experiences.”

Consequently, the gubernatorial election that took place recently in Yemen should be looked at as a crucial democratic transformation in favor of local governance with broad powers. Things develop step by step, not at once.

Did Dimitroff make something wrong when he advised political parties in Yemen to demonstrate a positive position about threats posed to Yemen's security and stability? The irresponsible attack might have been meant to silence 'a free voice' and put a stop to objectivity.

Source: Al-Thawra State-run Daily