Presidential Candidate, Mr. Najeeb Qahtan Al-Shaabi Pleads for an Equal & Just Campaign: “A Bit of Justice!” [Archives:1999/33/Front Page]

August 16 1999

SANAA: After approving him by the parliament as the only competitor against President Saleh, Najeeb Qahtan Al-Shaabi perhaps had a rosy thought that everything would go smoothly just as supposed to be. There is a fancy and well organized Law for General Elections. We also have the Supreme Elections Commission (SEC), with known duties and responsibilities. 
The start was good. Najeeb was able to pass the first barrier, which was the 10% parliament’s approval. He might have thought that the first obstacle was the only one and that he could go forward. He started with a complementary statement to the Parliament, “I thank all my parliament members for trusting in me and approving my nomination.” 
However, it was not long before Mr. Najeeb came back to earth. He began to see the true dimensions of the challenges ahead of him. He faced obstacles from all sides. Until today, the money essential for his campaign was not approved and handed over to him. He was not given the attention he thought he would get as the Law of General Elections states. But later, he found many barriers in front of him. The last one was from the SEC. The commission which is supposed to be the most helpful one for his campaign, turned out to be his nightmare. 
The clock is ticking, and time is rapidly running. People are every day becoming more convinced that the elections will turn into a referendum. How can’t that be when they are not familiar with the other person is? They haven’t seen his picture frequently. They haven’t heard from him much. He has not even given a strong statement about what he plans to do. If he is still waiting for the campaign to start, then he should act fast. As time is not on his side. 
Mr. Najeeb’s role in the success of these elections is very important. He should get all his rights to be able to call the elections fair. If he feels that he is not given his basic rights, he might withdraw his nomination. If that happens, the whole election process would be useless. He holds the main key for the success of the whole event. If he fails to fulfill his role, we will probably have a referendum. Even though the public believes that it would be better in financial terms, it would eventually kill any possibility for presidential competition within the forthcoming presidential 5-year period.  See Al-Shaabi’s Statement on