Islah party reviews its political development [Archives:2007/1026/Local News]

February 19 2007

Fatima Al-Ajel
SANA'A, Feb. 17 ) Islah's Media Office conducted a political symposium entitled, “A Reading of Islah's Political Experience,” at the Movenpick Hotel in Sana'a last Thursday, discussing numerous aspects related to the party's progress over the past 16 years.

Several academics, politicians and thinkers attended the event where three different papers were presented, the first of which, prepared by Sana'a University political science professor Abdullah Al-Faqih, tracked Islah's progress throughout its history. According to him, Islah plays an important role in Yemeni political life and it's not easy to neglect it, either inside or outside Yemen.

He described the party as the power gathering all Yemenis with their different ideological directions and party associations, which will motivate Yemen's future and provide an important guarantee for the public system.

Al-Faqih reviewed the features of Islah's relations with the authority, the opposition and the international community, referring to Islah's relations with the authority party as progressing in three steps. The first stage (1990-1997) was distinguished by political sharing with the authority, which was a reason for the party's disappearance and led to its switch to the opposition side.

The second stage (1997-2001) carried political expectations for the party, which helped it discover the authority's hostility towards it. The authority liquidated all Islah companies and resources and denied it from all of the donations it used to receive. The third stage involves a a competition for the authority from 2001 until now after ending its strategic alliance with the General People's congress.

Al-Faqih also clarified the party's true attitude toward terrorism, saying Islah refuses to use terrorism issues as a tool for foreign extortion or local artifice.

At the presentation's conclusion, Al-Faqih discussed several issues, including expanding women's participation in leading party positions and bodies, such as the Shoura Council and the General Secretariat.

Further, women in Islah Party's women's section look forward to occupying higher positions in the party, just as women in the ruling General People's Congress and the Yemeni Socialistic Party have achieved. In this regard, Amaina Al-Aslami, chief of Islah's women's section in Hajjah governorate, states that women in Islah expect the party to grant them at least 15 percent of Shoura Council leading chairs.

National Women's Committee deputy Hooria Mashahoor blames both the authority and the opposition for keeping women away from political activities. She emphasizes giving women the right to exercise their rights by making true legal reforms.

Also at the event, Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi, a member of the Yemeni Socialist Party's Political Office, presented a paper addressing the party's attitude toward several debatable issues, including women, terrorism and political transfer of power. He talked about the important role Islah plays in activating the opposition performance via the Joint Meeting Parties.