Press Review [Archives:2001/33/Press Review]

August 13 2001

Majority of Yemeni newspapers this week has devoted most of their articles and editorial to focusing on two main subjects preoccupying the political arena and the society, namely the government repeated ”doses” and the issue of dialogue between opposition parties and the government. As these are the two major controversial themes this week’s edition of press scanner is devoted to review various points of view as expressed by some newspapers representing some of the main opposition parties as well as the ruling party.
RAY weekly, organ of Sons of Yemen Party, 7 August 2001.
Abdulwasie Al-Nakhlani has written an article on the government’s ”doses” policy it has been following for years. The writer says that the truth about the policy of doses carries a dark and negative side for along years we have not noticed any positive result of that policy. The negative aspects accompanying the Yemeni economy have increased and the sought after economic stability is pushing us towards impoverishing the entire Yemeni society and the living stability has produced a living destruction. On the other hand stability of currency exchange has not come true but rather there is a continuous drop in the rial exchange rate against the dollar.
The writer maintains that continuation in imposing the policy of doses without having the expected results would inevitably mean they are insincere and proves the government’s failure in fully comprehending the policies it is following.
Once again outcomes of the doses policy did not produce a stability in the rial exchange rate and lifting the government’s subsidies on necessary commodities did not achieve tangible results regarding development projects, and worse than that the opposition has taken this policy as a reason for escaping from engagement into a dialogue with the government.   Al-Ayyam weekly 8 August 2001.
Abdullah Naji Ali has written an article saying that it seems the government does not perceive the package of reforms proposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund represented by economic, administrative and financial reforms as one integrated collection, not liable to selectivity. The author maintains that we are in dire need of administrative and institutional reforms. Our administrative machinery is infected with corruption and mismanagement whereas our government is not qualified but in dealing with price ”reforms” that have put heavy burdens on shoulders of our people whose majority is living under the line of poverty. If our government has stormed defenses of the corruption centers, it would have been able to provide large amounts of financial resources. For instance if it has introduced reforms in revenue collecting authorities it would have gained for the state treasury an amount of around 7o billion rials per year, according to some economists’ estimates. The latest diesel dose is expected to provide about 40 billion rials for the government per year but it would have very harsh social impact on the majority of population.   
Al-Wahdawi weekly, organ of the Nasserite Party 7 August 2001.
Abdulraqeeb Muqbil says in an article that it is thought that dialogue is the decisive condition and preferable choice for establishing a sort of national partnership in quest of the most successful outlets for the standing problems. These standing problems are too many and diversified to be solved by one party alone. The thing is that the serious dialogue has its conditions. We do look for a dialogue that enjoys equality, frankness, trustworthiness, public and has sense of responsibility. It should have publicized comprehensive national goals.
Yemen does need an open-minded dialogue meeting the necessary conditions and comes out with practical results. It should be a dialogue producing deeper new opportunities touching the core of Yemeni political life.
Al-Mithaq weekly, organ of the People’s General Congress Party, 6 August 2001
This week’s editorial of the newspaper is devoted to the subject of dialogue as a basis for democracy written by Mr Yahya Mohammed Al-Mutawakil, PGC”s assistant secretary for political sector and foreign relations.
Mr Al-Mutawakil says the dialogue currently led by head of the government with all of the political parties and Yemeni civil society organizations has always been an issue of welcome by the PGC because we have always considered that dialogue as an embodiment of the party’s orientations and an expression of its policies. The dialogue can be a stabilization of the principle of partnership by all political forces in national and pan-Arab issues in a way securing the pursuit of a policy dependent on national consensus.
It is very regrettable that those expressing skepticism in our democratic experiment work hard for undermining one of its most important foundations by their decision of rejecting continuity of the dialogue with the government. It is also a cause of regret that the decision , taken by the Yemeni Congregation for Reform party, parties of the Coordination Council, refuses dialogue with the government and ignores the opinion of majority of other parties organizations and parties that wish to maintain the dialogue. Whatever were the causes, the decision of rejecting dialogue is not based on carefulness and responsibility towards both the reasons voiced and sense of responsibility versus the results entailing it, particularly if we take into consideration that the dialogue has begun positively.
Ath-Thawri,organ of YSP, 9 August 2001
In his article on tribal fightings, Khalid Salman says the bloody phenomena prevalent all over Yemen and the whirls of fratricide represent the emerging portion of the iceberg. They are aspects indicating the existence of a dangerous crisis and a vacant area overshadowed with caution governing the relationship of the citizen and the state. A state that is unable to upgrade the tribe awareness and replaced that by dwarfing the state to the level of awareness and values of the tribe.
It is to be pitied that the official policies has relished the game of tribal wars and fed, with direct support or silence, many fightings and seditions based on the policy of ” divide and rule” and preoccupation of the society for a long time.
The ruling authority has to liberate itself from its wrong concepts regarding rights of the citizens, the right to take part in power, share wealth and contribute to running the public affairs. In order to put an end to these fightings in Yemen, all political and social forces should press for holding an immediate and extraordinary national conference to settle the issues of tribal vengeance and wars. There must be a creation of a pressurizing public opinion demanding re-formulation of the shape and identity of the state on a national basis.
Al-Ihya’a Al-Arabi weekly, organ of the Arab Baath Socialist Party 7 August 2001.
The newspaper’s editorial this week is written by Dr Qassem Sallam who discusses the question of political, dialogue describing those who think it a subject for passing time as mistaken. If it is necessary to begin democratic peaceful dialogue inside the Yemeni political arena there must be a commitment to defining its goals within the context of opinion and counter-opinion. It should be done within a program based equality and mutual respect among parties of the dialogue.
The call for dialogue must be distanced from being a political game or a means for undermining democracy in the name of democracy and feign keenness on the homeland and the citizen. Official media also should not be exploited to function as a means encountering the opposition media so that the call for dialogue would be objective and leading to practical and serious outcomes.   Al-Isbou weekly, 9 August 2001
The newspaper’s political editor says in an article that the opposition is bewildered between the government and the ruling party. Two weeks ago opposition parties backed away from conducting a dialogue with the government on the elections law. Now it is trying hard to catch up with dialogue even if it is forced to seek help of the ruling party.  
The parties grouping the supreme coordination council and the Islah party announced earlier the freezing of their dialogue with the government under pretext that the government had taken them unaware in calling them for dialogue in order to pass the decision on raising the prices of diesel. They demanded cancellation of the decision as a condition to resume the dialogue and then added other conditions. Later they backed down from their conditions following some good offices exerted by leadership of the ruling party and supported by the democratic forum. Accordingly both the opposition and the ruling party have agreed on resuming the dialogue with the government on provided the withdrawal of all conditions except two pertaining to defining bases for dialogue and resuming it from the point it was stopped.
Representatives of the opposition have in fact not agreed among themselves on the causes to be announced for justifying their abandonment of their announced conditions. To this failure could be ascribed continuation of the opposition press in publishing news that the dialogue on elections law would be resumed with the ruling party despite its acceptance to do that with the government of Abdulqader Bajammal.