Press Review [Archives:1999/41/Press Review]

October 11 1999

Depletion of Oil Expected Within 5 Years:
A foreign report has disclosed that the Yemeni oil reserves are decreasing in most fields. The report apprehends that the Yemeni oil reserves shall be depleted by the beginning of 2005; the year in which the agreement between Yemen and Hunt oil company expires. This disclosure comes in a time which sees no new oil exploring activities; and the government has opted for a new policy of giving more incentives to foreign investors and marketing new exploration permits; As was stated by the Minister of oil: “Up to now we used to wait for companies to come to us. Now we are going after them.”  
A Cabinet Reshuffle to Affect Seven Ministries
Rumors are agog on a possible cabinet reshuffle affecting between 5 to 7 ministries despite continuous denials by high officials. Arab newspapers guessed the intention of the President to make a reshuffle that affects the Ministries of Interior, Oil, Construction, Housing, Social Affairs, and Culture and Tourism during the first half of October. The President had in a press conference last week ruled out the formation of a new Government. He confirmed that the Government of the PGC shall continue; but he didn’t speak on the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle; while Dr. Abdul Karim Al-Eryani spoke to Monte Carlo Radio saying that a reshuffle might affect five to seven ministries during next November.
Dr. Abdul Rahman Ba-Fadhl, chief of the Islah caucus in Parliament has confirmed that the continuation of the present Government does not enable the implementation of the joint election program of the allied parties. He told Al-Bayan newspaper of the U. A. Emirates that “the corner stone in implementing what was said in the joint program belongs to the Government. He added:”We don’t believe that the continuation of the current cabinet shall enable it to execute the joint program. The cabinet is in fact unable to implement less than that, i.e. its announced program. That is why we appeal to the president to equip the executive authorities and public sector companies and corporations with young, capable, honest, specialized and honest cadres; otherwise things will keep stagnant.”
The Presidential Elections Cost exceeds 30 billion riyals
Arab newspapers have reported that the Yemeni government has spent nearly 30 billion riyals on the Presidential elections that took place recently. The news attributed to Yemeni sources said that this amount included the cost of the propaganda campaign which continued for 20 days including the cost of the gathering thousands of citizens in election rallies and big amounts of money which was paid to prominent politicians to organize the campaign in addition to about three billion riyals which was officially specified by the High Election Committee. The sources added that a small amount of this money came as donations from businessmen and traders. The bigger part of the expenditure came from the country’s budget through printing 20 billion riyals. Disagreements erupted within the cabinet regarding the printing of money. Dr. Al-Eryani, the Prime Minister raised objections, especially in the context of the objections by the World Bank which supervises the economic policy of the Government expressed to the Minister of Finance who is now in Washington negotiating how this problem is to be solved.
An official at the Central Bank of Yemen was quick to deny the press reports that 20 billion riyals were printed without any cover. He called the news as “biased” information.