Problems continue over registration for 2003 election Parties throw mud at each other [Archives:2002/42/Front Page]

October 14 2002

Sana’a – Accusing Yemen’s government of offenses such mismanaging public money, the Islah and YSP opposition parties are thumbing their noses at a key political document geared to ensure a fair 2003 national election.
The two opposition parties are refusing to sign what’s known as the Document of Principles and Behavioral Controls of Political Parties for Free and Fair Elections.
It was scheduled to be signed on October 6.
Statements given
The governing General Peoples Congress and Islah are jockeying for early election positions through statements given this week.
“The hysteria of the coming parliamentary elections has been haunting the ruling party and, with a feeling of early defeat, it has begun committing unprecedented violations,” said one Islah statement.
Another Islah statement, distributed in Aden governorate on Friday, accused the GPC of using public funds and institutions for narrow partisan interests and also of putting pressure on civilian and armed forces to register at certain election centers.
The Islah statement says all those acts demonstrate the desire to force the party’s will on citizens.
The Islah and YSP claim they’ve received complaints about excesses committed at a number of constituencies. They also said the circulation of the Elections Supreme Committee is related to registering armed forces and security personnel which is considered a clear violation of the law.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the information committee of the GPC has released a report detailing violations and excesses practiced by some Islah and YSP-affiliated heads of committees.
GPC has accusations also
The GPC’s report accused the individuals of hampering voter registration by refusing to allow un-bearded citizens to register their names and by urging women to register at election centers other than those supporting Islah positions.
The GPC report has also accused Sheikh Abdulla Sa’tar, one of Islah leaders, of promoting violence and assailing electoral committees that do not agree with Islah members wishes, particularly in Amran province.
Meanwhile, Supreme Elections Committee (SEC) has announced that over three million people have now registered since the beginning of the process on October 1. SEC’s statistics indicate that Hodeida governorate still has the most registrants, while Taiz comes in the second and the capital of Sana’a has the third-highest level.
Statistics issued by the SEC show a high percentage of women are turning out, compared to men.
It is worth mentioning that nationwide, the number of registration committees are 11,242. Sub-committees across Yemen employ 33,726 people, in 5,621 electoral centers in 301 constituencies.