Opposition versus changes [Archives:2005/898/Opinion]

November 28 2005

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
Presently it is not the task of the position to be at the presidential palace because it is still occupied by a president. Its current task is to mobilize the people and muster the masses, mobilize the street and expressing the silent majority for preparation for the forthcoming round of local and presidential elections. For the coming legislative elections would be the second round in order to reduce control of the General People's Congress ruling party over the parliament and consequently continued one opinion and one party. The goal of the opposition is to surround the ruling party and keeping it away from dominating the parliament so that to be reduced to a minority party dominated by businessmen and political and financial corruption.

Objective of the opposition is to put Yemen on its natural track and place the people of Yemen in the heart of history movement so that the ruling regime fall as tree leaves fall in Autumn. Who rules Yemen now is not as significant as how to transfer power peacefully and leave polling boxes be the judge and to recognize their results in future. We want to close down the exception and that a president's tenure should not exceed two presidential terms whatsoever the reasons were, away from betting and balances of local and international powers.

Can the opposition and with it civil society organizations unite their forces in one front against the ruling party so that their votes would not be dispersed and consequently the candidates of the ruling party succeed? Those candidates would normally utilize all they have of ability of manipulation with electoral lists and the support of the state machinery and the media in the coming local elections. Would the opposition agree upon one candidate to run the presidential elections against the president in case he backs down and accepts demands of leaderships and branches of the GPC as well as the party's recommendation for his candidacy for the coming elections?

Unity of the opposition is in the unity of its political forum and program and agreement on minimum degree of national unanimity. Nothing is wrong with principled slogans as an ideological announcement but the challenge is how to render it into a political program at a certain historic moment of Yemen's history. We reckon and see what happened and still happening in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and Iraq of preparations for sought after changes. Thus role of the opposition and message of the national movement for the new change is to bring closer the viewpoints to be a focal point for the national unity and its heart. If that is difficult to attain at least there should be a full coordination between list of the unified opposition and that of the independents in order not to disperse the opposition votes. There might be some secondary difference between opposition forces but the major competition between it and the ruling party is the listening to the voice of the people. It is the undermining of the ruling party. The opposition has to introduce new blood to constitutional councils: parliament and the Consultancy council, local councils elections, preparation for peaceful transfer of power in the future presidential elections. Such new blood capable of coping with new changes and prepared for them.

The ruling party incapability of gaining sweeping majority is a normal indicator in the process of reforms and democracy and transfer of power peacefully. If the opposition did not attain what it aspired for, battles are coming and then the opposition and civil society organizations would have begun the first correct steps to inspire convictions with the Yemeni street and the international observer when analyzing results of the forthcoming local elections in April 2006.