JMP nomination of its presidential candidate [Archives:2006/964/Opinion]

July 17 2006

By: Ali Al-Garadi
“It inspires a feeling of satisfaction and safety.” This is the summary of my personal conviction towards the opposition's nomination of the former minister and parliamentarian Faisal Bin Shamlan, the owner of a clean record in various aspects of administration. It seems the man does not have grudges or wish to enact revenge against any person or place. His independent status has provided him with an opportunity to look at everything through a firm perspective that changes according to the national interests.

The Yemeni opposition and the Joint Meeting Party (JMP) have secured a brilliant victory for the principle of peaceful transfer of power and have confronted the President ruling Yemen since 1978, and with him the historical heritage of the adherence to the party, the state, the President and all institutions of the authority.

Politicians in the ruling party see the opposition's selection of a candidate from outside its parties as a sign of weakness. I think it indicates the national mentality that does not want partisan fanaticism in the post of the state leadership. He represents technical experience and independent vision that can give care to the democratic experiment with neutrality and without giving priority of a party to others and consequently produce a “ruling party” that inflicts limitations on the political life as is the case now.

The President's party, the General People's Congress (GPC) controls a sweeping majority in the Parliament, the local councils and all institutions of the executive, legislative powers and the state administration apparatus. This sweeping majority came as a result of the one constituency system, large-scale corruption and the use of the state service against the opposition parties.

For this reason the opposition parties have endeavored in their political program for a national reform demanding a parliamentary system guaranteeing justice in the distribution of votes and representation of the society's various segments. It is not enough for international organizations to see long columns of voters casting their voices; most of them came under greed or fear or tribal bias. Many observers of Yemen's political affairs think the key way for solving the crisis of backwardness begins with pluralism of the media. A backward regime's governance relies on the elements and factors of ignorance and fear. Providing means of knowledge is the guarantor of ending both of those factors.

Yemen deserves the world's help in founding a genuine democratic regime with free and honest elections and free media. Otherwise, one day it will be hit by fragments of dictatorship and false bureaucracy. The world's interests lie in the existence of freedom, social peace, actual development and means of knowledge.

Ali Al-Garadi is a Yemeni journalist and the head of the media committee of Yemeni Journalist Syndicate.

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