Reforms and change (9) [Archives:2004/764/Opinion]

August 16 2004

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
For Yemen Times

We are in a position of considering the issue of making changes and required reforms, before they are imposed upon us.
We know very clearly, based on his daily encountering and handling of many cases, that President Saleh does not accept to be dictated to by any person. And we also realize that each President has his way of governance, based on what he envisions as the best way.
It would be very difficult to implement a visions and due processes, if we were not to embark on them suddenly, similarly to a military action, launched suddenly and surprisingly to confuse the enemy. The action without warning could give a 25% advantage over the enemy. Well, there is no enemy here. The people and the President of the country are in the same trench. Therefore, there is no need for a lot of precautions to be taken since both have the same interest. If the general public demand and urges for change at all levels, there would be no escape except to accept the inevitable.
Mr. President, you have been in power since the unification of the country, as a matter of fact, you have been in power since you were elected in 1978, following the tragic incident of 1978. There is no objection since you have accomplished a lot. You have achieved the unification of the country and you were able to protect the country in the 1994 civil war, when you ex-partner backed off from the process of building the country. We say, that there is no objection to you to continue to govern until the expiration of the constitutional period as you are still in health and capable. And there are still some objectives to be achieved, primarily the foundation of the state of law and order, and the modern state of Yemen that has become your dream and ambition to achieve since unification of the country.
Mr. President, democracy and the peaceful transition of power give strength and improvement to your image and that of the system.
Mr. President, you need a strong opposition and state corporations that actually work and present proposals, studies and analysis on everything. You need advisors that would occasionally say 'no' to you, and not to just 'yes' all the time.
Mr. President, you were sincere when you said that Yemen extends to everyone. You were honest when you issued directives that permitted the return of former presidents if they wished to, and to grant them privileges. This has happened only in Yemen and during your era only. Several files were closed permanently, the bloody January 13th file and the secessionist's file. You issued the general amnesty decision, even if some military commanders and others have not positively reacted to it. But, they are added to your credentials.
Thus, I say that your exclusive bearing of the responsibility confiscates the rights of the opposition. And that is a threat to the country. You, Mr. President, are the rescuer of the country as is evidently shown by the hardships we have encountered and overcome. You are above all the parties and their leader, therefore, why would not you leave the things to go their normal and natural path? Why not leave the system and the position react to each other in the benefit and interest of the country, whilst you remain above this, as the father for all?
It should become very clear to you, Mr. President, that the General People's Congress needs great attention, and requires you to perform an internal operation on its components before the next general conference, for more than one reason.
Why do you have to bear the mistakes of others, in the government apparatuses? And when would you begin holding them accountable and treating them according to the principle of reward or punishment, so that there would not be any power center too difficult for you to remove?