Opposition accuse GPC and SCER of election forgery [Archives:2006/972/Front Page]

August 14 2006

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, Aug. 13 ) In a Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC) symposium on Saturday entitled, “The agreement of principles and the chances of conducting free and fair elections,” political figures and opposition leaders accused the ruling party of attempting to fortify the upcoming presidential and local elections.

JMP leaders assured their determination to participate in the elections, whatever difficulties they might face. They also reaffirmed their intention to unveil the ways and techniques of the ruling party, the General People's Congress (GPC), in order to counterfeit the elections and bend the law and constitution.

Dr. Yassin Sa'eed Noman, Secretary-General of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), accused the authority and the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) of attempting to counterfeit the forthcoming presidential and local elections. Noman further pointed out, “There are indicators of advance insistence on the part of the GPC and the SCER to counterfeit the elections and force the opposition to take a passive attitude toward it.

“The JMP will participate in the elections because it's standing before a historic moment from which it could shape the future,” Noman affirmed, “The authority is working against the agreement of principles and the existing situation is no different than the situation in the past.

“Responding to some agreement items is formal. We're before an authority whose main qualification is forgery, as well as acting to divide and exploit the parties,” Noman added, “The authority misinterprets the law, public jobs and public funds. For them [the GPC], job and media neutrality mean nothing except to exploit them for the GPC candidate.” Additionally, Noman described the SCER as a doll in the authority's hands in order to discipline the JMP.

For his part, Sheikh Hamid Al-Ahmer declared, “The ruling party's policies are great failure – they pushed people into this bad situation. These failing policies will turn against them with negative results in the elections. Attempting to cling to power, the ruling party will tread over all the rules, laws and principles whereby individuals treat each other.”

Al-Ahmer also criticized international organizations working in Yemen, describing their attitudes as slack, particularly at the present time, as seen in their media addresses, wherein they attempt to justify the authorities' breaches.

He further put forth several questions before these organizations, such as what their attitude will be if the opposition candidate wins the election while the authority doesn't admit or announce that individual's victory? What if Yemenis elect Faisal Bin Shamlan? Will they deal with him if the authority doesn't admit such results?

Additionally, Al-Ahmer hinted, “The GPC can fortify the elections, but it can't force us to approve the results. It'll be held accountable for the unfavorable consequences if it breaches and violates the elections.”

Concluding his remarks, Al-Ahmer declared that Yemen urgently needs modernizing and reform at all levels, saying, “They [the ruling party] are exploiting public funds and jobs, as well as state resources, thus adding more poverty and dictatorship from which Yemeni citizens suffer.”

In related news, Sultan Al-Barakani, head of the GPC parliamentary bloc, stated to NewsYemen, “The JMP has the intention of delaying the elections and this is unjustified.”

Regarding voter registry violations, Al-Barakani pointed out, “This process took place during checking and correcting the registries', not afterward. Such violations are decided upon by the judiciary, which actually has judged a large number of cases referred to it.

“The voter registry issue was raised earlier and the registry was corrected at that time in 2001-2002, in addition to the following corrections. The judiciary will settle any disputes,” Al-Barakani added, “There's no reason to delay the elections because they weren't delayed in 1993 or 1997 when the YSP boycotted them.”

Regarding breaching the agreement of principles and exploiting public media for the sake of the ruling party candidate, Al-Barakani responded, “Opposition will continue accusing the ruling party, even if they gain power, because they have nothing before them except to make accusations.

“The agreement of principles wasn't imposed upon the GPC. It's the president who's cautious about making all participate in order not to have further pretexts. He gave the JMP more than they actually deserve,” Al-Barakani added, “The GPC maintained its obligations as to the agreement of principles, including adding two JMP members to the SCER, though the commission was about to complete its tasks.”