MP resigns from ruling party over corruption [Archives:2006/970/Front Page]

August 7 2006

SANA'A, Aug. 6 ) Member of Parliament Sakhr Al-Wajih, who has represented constituency No. 178 since 1993, tendered his resignation from the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) over differing viewpoints on the spread of corruption within the party.

Explaining his reasons for stepping down from his post in the party, Al-Wajih said, “I'm dissatisfied with the ruling party's practices, which lead to contradictory attitudes, particularly as I'm a member of the GPC parliamentary bloc. My votes were contradicting the votes of other GPC members. Consequently, the situation convinced me that there's no need to stay in the party any longer.

“The environment and climate in which the GPC exercises its activities are controlled by particular individuals who don't have any interest in the country. They prefer their personal interest to their party's,” Al-Wajih added. “I've been a GPC member since 1985 – before reunification; nevertheless, I believe my resignation is the right decision, although it was late in coming.”

He clarified, “Any partisan work is voluntary and no privileges are to be granted by a party, nor is there any expected harm in quitting a political party since we live in a democratic country. I believe every person should be satisfied with the party he affiliates to and his viewpoints must appear convincing to his party; otherwise, he or she must step down.”

Concluding his comments, Al-Wajih said, “I invite everyone to contemplate the country's progress amid increased poverty, high unemployment, oppression and wasting of public funds.”

Reacting to the MP's decision, Sheikh Sultan Al-Barakani, GPC secretary-general and chairman of its parliamentary bloc, said, “Sakhr Al-Wajih's resignation came late. Had he learned that the GPC isn't a national party, has no values or principles, nor did it reach great achievements, he wouldn't have remained a member of the party's parliamentary bloc from 1993 until today.”

He continued, “If the GPC hasn't been exercising internal democracy or has adopted the style of totalitarian parties, Al-Wajih and other members couldn't have exercised internal democracy. If the GPC isn't democratic, Al-Wajih and other members couldn't have expressed their viewpoints in Parliament and through various media. This party ever welcomes its members' criticism and differing viewpoints.”

Al-Barakani noted that if his party was in line with depictions of it made by some individuals in their media statements, Al-Wajih wouldn't have remained a member of the GPC's parliamentary bloc for 13 years.