Peaceful exchange of power demanded [Archives:2005/883/Front Page]

October 6 2005

SANA'A – Oct. 5 – Under the title of 'Peaceful exchange of power' the organization called “Journalists without boarders” held a two-session symposium last Saturday.

The first session was about the declaration of President Saleh not to run the next elections, and the second one about the peaceful exchange of power and the role of opposition parties in president Saleh's previous period.

A number of participants requested the president not to change his decision about his withdrawal from the next elections. They also demanded that the achievement of peaceful exchange of power should start with the next elections.

There was consensus that Yemen is not ready for peaceful exchange of power, due to the previous totalitarian period, in which the authority had wealth and military powers. There was a demand for the opposition to have a nominee at the 2006 presidential election and participants called for parliamentary reforms to pave the way for political reforms.

Mr. Mohamed Qahtan head of political bureau in Islah Party, said that the way out from what he called Yemen's historical plight is to establish a parliamentary system. He added that many women are just as qualified to lead the country as men. He added that women who ruled in the past, proved to be better rulers than the men.

Dr. Faris Al-Saqaf, head of the Future Center for Strategic Studies, expressed serious skepticism about the fact that president Saleh will leave office. He said that the President either will live up to his word, and by doing so become pioneer among rulers who leave their posts voluntarily. Or it will turn out that his word was not a deliberate decision, but has now become an obligation.

Dr. Abdullah Alfaqih, political sciences lecturer in Sana'a University, said in his paper that the prospects of peaceful exchange of power are not favorable, because the President has not prepared the political arena for some one to succeed him.

Mrs. Tawakol Karman, head of women without boarders, confirmed that this symposium is one of the political activities that aim at mobilizing the political and intellectual spectrum. Their results will be fruitful for both decision makers and opposition. She assured that their organization will be neutral and not an affiliate to neither opposition nor authorities.