Local council candidates begin campaigning [Archives:2006/978/Front Page]

August 4 2006

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, Sept. 3 ) As many as 2,240 local council candidates at the governorate level began their election campaigns throughout the republic last Friday following the withdrawal of 361 applicants, including five women.

Contenders for local council posts at the district level amount to 22,110, including 164 women, after 3,450 candidates, 41 of whom were women, withdrew. Ten of 22 political parties are participating in the election.

Dr. Mohamed Abdullah Al-Sayyani, head of the Planning and Technical Affairs sector at the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER), confirmed in a Saturday press conference that there are 9,247,390 eligible registered voters, of whom 5,346,820 are men and 3,900,577 are women.

He noted that 153,342 voters transferred from their original electoral domiciles at the voting center, constituency and governorate levels to new domiciles. According to Al-Sayyani, 248,664 names were dropped from voter registries under court verdicts for violating election laws.

Abdu Al-Janadi, head of the SCER's Media and Electoral Awareness sector, announced that a press conference on election developments will be held daily. He asserted that every political party has violated election laws within the past two days by opening fire on other candidates' propaganda and tearing down their pictures.

Al-Janadi called on mosque preachers not to inflame citizens to disturb the election campaigns' progress, pointing out that the mosque's role is to preach to people and guide them to the right track.

“Mosque preachers did something wrong, as some supported ruling party candidates while others backed opposition candidates. This is a big mistake,” Al-Janadi maintained.

He called on parties and political organizations to be judicious and increase their members' awareness on how to abide by the law and stop violence and acts of vandalism.

Al-Janadi emphasized that parties must circulate general notices to their members and supporters to respect other candidates' election campaigns because such acts violate true democracy.

As an example, the General People's Congress (GPC) announced Friday that one of its members was shot in his right hand while hanging a picture of a party candidate. According to a GPC source, the incident occurred in Ibb governorate's Constituency No. 84.