Opposition outside and its domestic echo [Archives:2005/888/Opinion]

October 24 2005

Although Yemen is considered to be a country of a democratic margin fluctuating between the constitutional decision on political and partisan plurality with the freedom of expression and the real practices, the Yemeni opposition outside the country arouses a suspicious echo around its political agenda in turn evoking perplexity, the Yemeni opposition abroad has more than one motive and reason, some of them are on personal bases while others resulted from domestic conflicts that occur time and again, around policy, economic development and most notably the negotiation around the country's resources.

Those involved in the Yemeni opposition outside the country continue to make a direct impact on local affairs, considering the flagrant crackdowns inside the country which aims at restricting the practices of democracy inside the country, however one should not deny the existence of a slim democratic margin allows a limited practice of the freedom of expression and opinion and the right for political plurality.

Yet, Yemeni opposition abroad lacks minimum coordination vital for their role as an effective tool for political correctness, as it takes the form of responding to external factors and regional matters ignoring the local political scenario in a number of regards.

The domestic opposition, however, does not encourage the practice of external opposition for numerous considerations, as any attempts to support opposition abroad or even justify its existence would result in the deprivation and crackdown on prominent opposition leaders residing in the country.

In addition to that, it has become evident that the regime has made a number of attempts to silent the Yemeni opposition abroad through reconciliation with its neighbors and the enhancement of ties with the respective countries in which the opposition resides.

It is obvious that the local crackdown, the incurable local situation and confining the role of the opposition are reasons behind the existence of refugees outside Yemen, most of these refugees belong to the dynasties of Hameed El-Deen and Al-Wazir.

The 1994 war was a transformation point for the Yemeni opposition, being labeled as conspirers against the regime since then, damaging the political standing of opposition and all those who oppose the regime directly or indirectly. Today the Yemeni state should be held accountable for treating the situation of opposition outside the country through reforming the situation of opposition inside the country. The state should give priority to fighting corruption and restricting totalitarianism, which are the two factors for the emergence of opposition outside the country.

There are several common characteristics shared by the spectrum of opposition outside the country, these are their weak ability to react to local happenings due to their lack of connection with domestic opposition.

The nomination of Abdullah Sallam al-Hakimi and Ambassador Abdullah Ahmad N'uman outside the country confirm the scattered thoughts of the opposition and how it does not have a deep reading of reality, particularly as we perceive the incapacity of domestic opposition figures to unanimously agree on a certain candidate, or to show a clear stand toward the declaration of President Saleh to not take part in the presidential elections.

The opposition outside the country constitutes a suspicion of the domestic opposition and denies the existence of a democratic margin. The domestic opposition leaders can collectively agree on the availability of a margin for freedoms and political, partisan and intellectual multiplicity, but its seriousness and impact seems to be uncorrelated.

There is no doubt that the real competition for the peaceful handover of power is a difficult task since some ruling party and opposition leaders will not accept President Saleh to step down.