Now that all is said and done [Archives:2006/985/Viewpoint]

September 28 2006

The entire recent electoral process, from the nominations to the announcements of the results, had the all Yemeni people living in a whirlwind. The Yemeni environment was so open and rich with politics and there were soaring spirits and optimism. Everyone felt these elections were going to be different; some even anticipated there would be acts of violence accompanying the change. Fortunately it passed relatively peacefully and now Yemen has removed the 99.9 percent victor stereotype.

Now the ruling party understands there is reasonable opposition with strong public support. Despite the question of tampering the ballots the opposition gained considerable votes in both presidential and local council elections. Composing one third – at least – of the people, the opposition's point of view should be taken seriously within the new government program. Today Saleh is a president and the GPC is the ruling party for all of Yemen and both must be concerned about including the various ethnicities, political affiliations and demographic divides. Moreover, the new government should identify a decision-making system by which all parts of the Yemeni society are adequately represented.

Primarily indicators show the majority of women and youth voted for the GPC. Therefore, it should be important for the GPC not to let those two vital groups down.

One fear voiced by activists during the campaign was that if the GPC wins it would lash out on the opposition and independents and create a more oppressive regime. I believe the government will be very ignorant if that idea was at all true. The public support for the opposition did not come from void and it would easily be regenerated again if the government does not live up to its promises.

Now that all is said and done, maybe this is a time to think about the interesting experience. It was an occasion for many international observers, media and activities to be introduced to Yemen. From what I heard, many will return to Yemen. We should work together as Yemenis regardless of our orientation to make Yemen a good world citizen and a country to be proud of.

Ramadan Kareem to all.