Political commitment Time will tell [Archives:2007/1029/Viewpoint]

March 1 2007

“Iradat Sha'ab” – People's Will – is a Yemeni NGO which carried out a two-day workshop last week to discuss the presidential campaign program of re-elected President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The spokesperson confirmed that the program was not created through ad-hoc thinking and in fact was based on well thought plans. It was mentioned that it included all aspects of the Yemeni citizen's life in order to improve living conditions and achieve prosperity for the Yemeni people.

The workshop's agenda included working papers from ministers and decision makers who displayed their plans on reforming Yemeni economy. The presentations included our “achievement” at the Donors' Conference in London.

The interesting fact is that the workshop included presentations from academics and NGO activists as well. And all focused on one theme: the importance of implementing Saleh's program.

Opposition political parties also attended the workshop and had only one concern: if the program is so good, how come prices are getting higher and life is becoming worse for the people? This is a valid question and the answer was never given during the two days.

It was mentioned that the prosperity of the country cannot be achieved by the ruling party alone and has to be done in collaboration with all stakeholders and even opposition political parties. The opposition political parties replied: “This is your mess, your clean it.”

In all cases, it is important that political will is more than just presenting plans and requesting further grants and loans from international donors. As it is, whether the program is successful or not, there is only one way to find out and time will tell. My only hope is to find out before it is too late.