Press Review [Archives:2001/11/Press Review]

March 12 2001

The Yemeni press this week gave extensive space to coverage of the people’s joy on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, through publishing many pictorial reportages of the festivities, not forgetting the people who could not enjoy the occasion due to their being in hospital to receive treatment. Some newspapers published reports and interviews with such people trying to ease the bad feelings brought on by their illness.
The front pages of the newspapers also allotted large spaces for publishing the most important local and world news, particularly news about the Palestinian Intifada and the Israeli occupation forces’ war against the defenseless Palestinian people. News on the results of local councils elections and the referendum on constitutional amendments has also been given prominence in the local press.
Main Headlines:
-Preparations Under way for Shoura Council Elections
-Islah Party Secretary-General Al-Yadoumi: Strategic Alliance between GPC & Islah A Joke
-Woman Journalists Society: ” We Could Wait 160 Years Before Women Have Equal Opportunities of Expression as those of Men.”
-President Ali Abdulla Saleh Receives Written Message from President of Djibouti.
-Receiving a Delegation from French House of Senates, Prime Minister Dr al-Eryani Praises Level of Bilateral Relations, and Confirms France’s Role in Supporting Middle East Peace Process
-American Report Criticizes Situation of Press Freedom in Yemen
-President Saleh: Weapons Seized by Islah Party During 1994 War to be Confiscated
-GPC Wins Sweeping Majority in Elections, the President Meets Islah Leaders to Contain Differences
-Chief Editor of 14 October Official Daily Summoned by Political Security Apparatus in Aden
-Arab League Council Begins Meetings Monday at Foreign Minister Level.
-Arafat Calls for Sending International Observers to Oversee the Stopping of Israeli Aggression on the Palestinians
– Yemeni Businessmen Delegation to Visit Saudi Arabia Soon
-Israeli Spying Network Captured in Lebanon
-Taliban Insists on Destroying Buddhist Statues in Afghanistan
Ath-Thawra daily,
11 March.
The daily editorial is devoted to tackling the idea of Arab joint action. The editorial says that Arab joint action has in the past years suffered many setbacks as a result of hesitation, lack of confidence and absence of seriousness when dealing with such a highly sensitive subject. All this has hindered efforts aimed at delivering Arab joint action at times of crisis, and prevented it from taking responsibility for protecting the interests of the nation.
Following on from this complicated situation, there springs the importance of the coming Arab Summit meeting in Amman on the 27th of this month, which hopes to lead to the restructuring of Arab joint action in line with a new perspective, accommodating the essential changes which are taking place in the world today. A special emphasis should be placed on the fact that the forthcoming Amman summit is the first since the approval of the Yemeni initiative for a mechanism for regularly convening Arab summits, particularly as this step represents moves in favor of overcoming the points of weakness and ridding the Arab nation of its previous cracks.
Since the regular convening of the Arab summit represents the beginning of the Pan- Arab System recovering its health, it is important to to realize that this development is inevitably linked with the reactivation of institutions of Arab joint action, mainly the Arab League, which must be speedily restructured in a manner compatible with the requirements of the coming stage.
The daily editorial maintains that the Arabs are hoping that the Amman summit will come out with results aimed at improving Arab-Arab relations and upgrading Arab joint action so as to achieve positive integration, turn away from the chapter of disputes and find good alternatives for the establishment of an Arab economic grouping supporting the development movement.
It is no longer acceptable for the Arab countries to remain scattered groups, at a time when other economic groupings have undertaken various forms of cooperation, integration and interlocking of interests.
An article in this week’s Al-Fursan independent weekly, has tackled the subject of local councils elections and the referendum on constitutional amendments that took place last month in Yemen. The article, written by A’del al-A’sem, says fallout from the local elections is continuing. There is a war of fiery statements, many press conferences discussing violations, the winners exchanging congratulations on their success and the losers expressing their disappointment, as well as the mourning of the victims of those events.
Amidst all this the question is, who are the losers and who are the beneficiaries? What is the position of the ordinary citizen, who is the first owner of rights in the elections?
In the long run, the author believes, the beneficiary is the homeland and such benefit will not come except after many sessions and sacrifices. But at present the loser is the citizen, whose aspirations were lost and his dreams and hopes destroyed, amidst the many violations and exchanged accusations. He has found himself the biggest victim of the giants’ conflict.
The writer concludes that the essential and declared aim of holding the local elections is that the people participate in ruling themselves and running their affairs. But the local councils have witnessed severe conflict, mainly between the GPC and the Islah parties, to gain the biggest number of seats in order to secure their control over ruling the people through the people.
Lutfi Numan wrote an article in al-Isbou weekly on the Islah party’s victories in local council elections in the southern and eastern provinces. The Islah party’s overrunning of the GPC in elections for local councils in the southern and eastern provinces could change many characteristics of this party. One characteristic it has acquired due to the results, is that it can be considered a national unionist party as it is almost the only party that managed to gain seats on most of the Yemeni local councils. That has happened at a time that the tide of the GPC in the Yemeni political arena is receding, and this of course results in the diminishing size of the opposition. Moreover the nomination of the Islah gives a kind of true balance in the political arena as the influence of the GPC has been there for a long time.
Islah’s success is a plus for democracy and adds something useful to political life. The GPC should learn very well from the defeat they have suffered at the popular level, particularly with regard to national unity.