Political department of ruling party lashes out at Islah [Archives:2004/743/Community]

June 3 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The relations between the People General Congress (PGC) and Islah Congressional Party (Islah), the biggest of the Islamic opposition parties, are currently subject to solid standards, although with confined boundaries. However, in recent times, the relationship between the two parties have been filled with fuss and accusations, which could reach the extent of impetuosity at the local level, and on the outside level, they are based on the current practical requirements.
The PGC's accusations against the Islah Party came following the latter's attempts to market its concepts, mentality and formation abroad, instigated by Islah's condemnation of the terror acts that recently took place in Saudi Arabia.
In this context, several questions were put before Mr. Younis Haza, the Chief of the Political Department at the General Secretariat of PGC.

Q: Could you give us an explanation for the recent media attacks on Islah trying to show its stance against terrorism?
A: As a matter of fact, following a series of terror incidents in Yemen, Islah did not react to them nor did it issue any condemnatory statement. But with astonishing inconsistencies, if the party hears firecrackers abroad, it issues denunciation statements. The PGC and political monitors have been asking themselves, why does Islah react to events taking place abroad and not to the event on the local arena?

Q: Do you believe that PGC directed a decisive blow to yesterday's partner, the Islah party, by canceling Islah-Administrated Scientific Institutes and by curtailing the authorities of some of its influential dignitaries?
A: As far as the cancellation of the scientific institutes, the intention was to promote the high national interest of the country. The PGC did not aim at directing a blow at anyone. The objective was to unify educational operations in order to have future generations with unified ideologies and concepts. Regarding the Islah Party, it has chosen to join the so-called “The Joint Meeting Parties” (the opposition). This coalition has consequences. Islah Party, as well as other parties, in the coalition have encountered negative repercussions. Despite that, Islah took advantage of this coalition in the 2001 elections.

Q: Does PGC fear that Islah will take advantage of the current situation?
A: Any party, including Islah, would like to take advantage of any opportunity arising and from public support it has. Islah party, as it is known, is the second party in the political arena. It uses its conventional formation as a party and utilizes the tribal formation of the society. Furthermore, it utilizes religion and mosques in order to present a greater size than it really has. However, the developments at the national and international levels have been in the opposite direction after Islah Party failed to renew its leaders, agenda and its political rhetoric.

Q: Does PGC fear any further rapprochement between Islah and YSP, and how does PGC view the existing relations between the two?
A: The relationship between Islah and YSP party was considered to be a dubious one, and it is destined to fail considering the apparent contradiction in ideologies. However, we have been accustomed to Islah taking advantage of any coalitions, such as Islah taking advantage of YSP during the 2001 elections in its favor.

Q: On what basis are you accusing a political party of terrorism?
A: There was a government report about the terror activities taking place in Yemen, in which it warned the world, at an early time, that terrorism is a phenomenon with no nation or religion. Islah is related to the indoctrination, concepts and culture that could develop extremism and tension. In addition, some of its leaders tend to accuse others randomly. This is by all means considered terrorism. The assassination of Jar Allah Omr unveiled the peak of terrorism at Islah party.

Q: Do you fear of any convergence between Islah and USA?
A: There is nothing to fear either from the statements issued by Islah, either about the Middle East initiatives or about the whole developments. They are merely a reflection of the false state of Islah. They appear to endear themselves to America. They present themselves as victims and an alternative at the same time, and are constantly in search of a role, which does not coincide with its stature at the state's corporations.

Q: Does that mean that the dispute is a result of what Islah has put forward regarding reforms?
A: As far as PGC is concerned, it does not consider a dispute to exist with any other party except when it comes to the national sovereignty issue and national interests. The country is above all considerations. But for some to resort to hypocrisy and blandishment on the account of issues related to the sovereignty of the country and the future of the Yemeni people is not acceptable to the PGC.

Q: How do you look at the visions and proposals of other towards internal reform?
A: We continue to proceed vigorously on the path of May 22, 1990, toward viable political, administrative, financial and economic reforms. The Yemeni democratic experiment has acquired the respect and recognition of the world. During the past period, five democratic experiments have taken place, represented by parliamentary, presidential, and local elections. We remain committed to the development and strengthening of democracy. The Yemeni democracy experiment has become a model for the region. Thus, Yemen welcomes any initiative to support the existing political and economic reforms. Yemen joins its brothers in Arab countries to reach a unified stance concerning the issue of currently submitted reform plans with the intention to reject any outside initiative that does not respect the identity and characteristics of Arab and Muslim countries.