Rearranging the pawns [Archives:2007/1016/Viewpoint]

January 15 2007

Anyone who plays chess, knows that every piece counts, yet the pawns are usually sacrificed for the sake of strategies and clearing the path for other more significant pieces, king, queen, rooks, bishops and knights.

Our government, however, does not know how to play chess, or if it does, it does not have any strategy. Because all it is doing is reshuffling the pawns and swaying the other pieces back and forth.

I am talking about the alleged cabinet restructuring. Any change is welcomed, except a change of the kind the Yemeni government usually makes for its restructure. In fact, even predictions from outside the political arena have learned the ABC's of cabinet shuffling and the new names suggested for a new government (although denied by 26 September, the official newspaper) were mostly of those who already are in the government.

The previous changes except for very few names displayed a bizarre logic behind the assignments. People whose background had nothing to do with their new posts were appointed for personal reasons. And when they fail in their missions, the fault is blamed on the “system” which does not give them any authority to actually play their roles.

This desperate situation our government is living in today makes hope for actual reform sink even deeper. I know of a minister who could not stand the situation and quit and left the country. Some of my successful friends who studied abroad and who are working abroad have given up completely on the ruling system and decided to pursue their professional development abroad. The number of qualified youth leaving the country is increasing massively – mainly because they don't see themselves playing a role in the future of this country. The monopoly in decision-making positions and the continuous rearranging of the government pawns leaves little hope for the younger generation.

The tragedy is that no donor conference, future prospective of joining the GCC and the WTO or any international pressure seems to make a difference in the reality of this country. If this irresponsible manipulation of the country's fate continues, a time will come when the government really does not have an option but to reshuffle its existing pawns because all the other pieces have already left the country.