Mr. President and the 15th Anniversary of May 22nd [Archives:2005/846/Opinion]

May 30 2005

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
Amidst our happy days of the glorious May 22nd festivals, which mark the achievement of the Yemen Reunification, I have the pleasure to extend heartfelt congratulations to your Excellency and, through you, to the Yemeni people inside and outside Yemen. I pray to Allah that this magnificent occasion would bring about goodness, stability, development and prosperity ut there is something I would like to expatiate upon:

In a booklet published by the Yemen Times Establishment on the last year's Reunification Anniversary, we pledged to go hand in hand with you toward modernization, reform, corruption eradication, and building a modern Yemen with law and discipline.

The Reunification achievement has its bearing on partnership and the principles of plurality and democracy which provide the ground for contest and competition for the sake of the people.

Actually, this great commemoration comes as citizens remember historical addresses and steps over the last year concerning corruption fight, injection of new blood into the civil, security and military apparatuses of the government and motivating the local councils to do their duty so that citizens get convinced to reelect them. They urged parties, including the ruling one, to stop their word warfare which harms Yemen's reputation and called for non-imprisonment of journalists over opinion or writing charges. They called for strong opposition to back the government which may be in the opposition in the future. However, after a year, things have become worse. We expected that corruption cases would be tackled and corrupt officials tried along with extremists and terrorists who scared the people and impaired your invitations of Arab and foreign investors to come to Yemen.

Unemployment should be addressed with more job opportunities in the sectors of fishery and agriculture. Local, regional and international voices warned of a shortage in producing and exporting oil and that to depend heavily on it would cause a problem soon.

Your Excellency, we still have confidence in your initiatives to reform the political and economic conditions. However, it seems that it is time you put your statements into practice. You are in a sore need for a management able to set up plans and programs and not for people who coax disintegration and disunity of the national solidarity by fueling political schemes and disagreement that serve nobody but Yemen's enemies. They engender conflicts before the coming elections.

Your wisdom is needed to reform things and fight for the citizens to improve their livelihood, security, jobs, and medical services. Central capitals are to be reinvested to serve the above aims and corruption files are to be referred to the court. Then, you will feel that the Yemeni people is going with you along the development path and sacrifices for a better tomorrow.

You are in need for a new-brand men and a cabinet working on reassessment and treatment of the existing conditions far from disputes and useless statements. Such a government would give the citizens the impression of free elections to come with the box as the sole judge instead of waiting for the foreigners to reform and change things. Pondering on what happened in Egypt and President Mubarak's approval of constitutional amendments providing for multi-candidate elections and the events in Lebanon in the wake of al-Hariri's assassination should have given us a hint to reform our local affairs before others do it in their discretion.

Your Excellency, all of us should shoulder their responsibility. You ought to quickly apply reform, set the record straight, refer the corrupt to the court and terminate the service of the diehards.

Soar prices are no characteristic of a free market. Companies and businessmen should vie for the public interest. Otherwise, the globalized world's multinational companies would devastate everything.

The wages law falls behind inflation prompting senior and junior officers to uplift their living standard even through zigzag ways as law is absent and the reward-and-punishment principle is flouted.

Your Excellency, Yemen and the PGC are well-stocked with reliable men. Let them work under your leadership to restore smile. To marginalize people is not in favor of the next stage. Justice, security and sound management have to be ensured.

Your Excellency is able to achieve equality and make officials realize that days of abuses and narrow loyalties are gone and that accountability has been established along with new appointments and modern state's philosophy.

You are closer to the cares of the people and are indubitably the safety valve of the national unity. The Reunification was finalized and joy prevailed when the Reunification was consolidated with blood in 1994. WE need nothing else but the state of law and discipline and the presence of control.

Indeed, the opposition as well as the current government have failed to materialize your ambitions. The period you set is to about to finish. Your Excellency, why don't you form a new government that can restore people's confidence in the PGC and its platform.

May you and the Yemeni people remain always in prosperity, bless and continued work for the new Yemen.