Mr. Ali Saleh Obad: “The state failed to dictate direction of our congress.” [Archives:1998/49/Front Page]

December 7 1998

Mr. Ali Saleh Obad, Secretary-General of the Yemen Socialist Party (YSP), lashed out at the authorities for playing an arm-twisting game with his party. The fiercely independent Obad said that his party was exposed to all kinds of intimidation and blackmail. “The authorities decided to dictate the direction our party’s congress (28-30/11/1998) should take. I can tell you the political leadership, governors, military and security officers and other senior officials were involved in a sustained effort to tell us what we should do.
They promised to finance our meetings, if we toe the line. They threatened all kinds of punishments, if we refused,” explained the YSP leader in an extended exclusive interview with the Yemen Times. Read full text on Interview Page.
The YSP Boss said that his party’s congress decided to show more tolerance and flexibility in its continued soul-searching and adjustment process. “We decided that we will let all by-gones be by-gones whether it is with our own members or with other members of our society. “I challenge the others to start with a clean slate in full cooperation to build Yemen of the 21st century,” he said.
In response to the torrent of critisicm from the leaders of the ruling People’s General Congress, Mr. Obad simply answered, “Do you see me wink?” He suggested that the PGC leadership, frustrated that the YSP refused to take orders, embarked on a barrage of attacks using the official media. “We will not be dragged into mud-slinging. But we will stay on our course,” he insisted.
Speaking about the reforms of the party, Mr. Obad said the YSP will continue to push for international socialism and a secular state. “We will work for democratic values as well as for social justice and equality among citizens in our society,” he said.