New law to regulate gubernatorial elections [Archives:2008/1149/Local News]

April 24 2008

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, April 23 ) Republican decree 86 for the year 2008, regarding the bylaw of electing governors and Sana'a's mayor, was issued on Monday. The government approved the decree on Sunday.

The decree's 45 items state that the Ministry of Local Administration is to prepare and supervise governor elections. The bylaw also says committees are to be formed to supervise the elections at the governorate level, with each committee to consist of three to five members and chaired by someone who is not below a deputy minister position.

According to the bylaw, voting for the governors will be confidential. For candidates to win the election, they or their representatives must be present during voting and ballot counting. In their absence, the supervising committee is to select another candidate to fill the winner's place.

Any candidate can impugn the election results by submitting a petition to the judiciary committee within 48 hours after the results are announced, the bylaw says.

Additionally, the bylaw says any candidate running for governor should meet certain conditions, being at least 40 years of age and holding a university degree or any equivalent certificate.

Candidates should also have at least 10 years of practical experience in the government or private sector.

A candidate must also have the recommendation of 10 percent of the local council members. A member of the local council should not recommend more than one candidate, and if he/she recommended more than one candidate, then his/her recommendations are regarded invalid.

Elections delayed

The Ministry of Defence's website,, said that the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) changed the time of the elections of governors from April 27 to an unspecified day in May. The website quoted Abdullah Ahmed Ghanem, head of the ruling party's political office, as saying that the GPC's General Committee decided to make April 27 a day for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's announcement for governor elections.

Ghanem didn't specify when exactly the elections would be held, but he said delaying the election day would give time to complete necessary measures for the elections.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Local Administration said on Tuesday that gathering recommendations by the current governors from local council members with the aim to use them [recommendations] for the election of governors is illegal.

The ministry added that the committees tasked with supervising the elections would not consider such recommendations. It further noted that it is preparing a sample recommendation in accordance with certain conditions.