Political mockery [Archives:2006/964/Opinion]

July 17 2006

By: Abu Zaid Al-Sulaimani
[email protected]

If anyone thought that Ali Abdullah Saleh was really not going to run in the upcoming presidential elections, you would have to have been a fool of some sort. I mean it was only a matter of time before the republican guards and Yemeni secret service agents dressed as civilians to march in protest against the President's decision not to run. I have nothing against the President. As a matter of fact I think he's much better then the 64 or so people that we have running for the job of President. We'll get to the 64 later but for now let's talk about the President.

In a true democracy no person is forced to run for public office against his own will. It's not in the best interest of a nation to elect someone to lead their country if that person does not want to be there. And as I recall and I'm sure most Yemenis do as well, the President has declared time and time again that he was not going to run for another term. This would have put the icing on the cake on a job well done by Ali Abdullah Saleh. After all it was under his leadership that today we're united. We no longer have missiles pointing at each other and instead we are one. The peaceful transfer of power would not only have solidified his iconic image in Yemen but would have made him an even greater icon among all Arabs.

64? Are we having the first ever Sana'a marathon? 64 people makes it sound like a track race not a presidential race. It's makes a mockery of our young democracy. And we have three women that each thinks she can be the next Bilqis or Arwa. Democratically speaking, why not? But let's be realistic here, even their own family members won't vote for them.

Bin Shalman! I read his profile. Great guy. Gives to charity, and is actually broke, which is surprising for a Yemeni politician, which tells you he's honest. But here's the problem – he used to play with my great-great grandfather when they were kids. OK he's not that old but close. When you get to be in your 70s you shouldn't be worried about how to run a country but instead worry about the fact that Alzheimer's disease might start to kick in. You're a little late buddy. And the other 60 or so puppets are just that – puppets.

In conclusion, there are no real candidates. Of course there wouldn't be. It's still Ali time. If the President really wasn't going to run, it would have been a whole different story. We would have had real candidates with real political power. I for one would wish to see someone like Yahya Al Shuaibi run for President. I've seen what he can do and so have many Yemenis.

Our leaders have always feared competition and the popularity of others. When someone gets too popular with the people in a certain area, we relocate them. At least that's an improvement; the YSP used to slaughter them, or they would just disappear forever.