Ruling party to name presidential candidateWill he be Saleh? [Archives:2005/875/Front Page]

September 8 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
SANA'A- Sept. 6- The third phase of reshuffling the ruling People's General Congress Party, the biggest political organization in Yemen's political arena, is planned to take place next week. Internal elections of permanent committees are conducted in 18 governorates including the Capital Secretariat.

Such procedures will have been done after the ruling party completed the strategy of reshuffling in the electoral centers and districts numbering up to 330 across the country.

Aqeel al-Zuhairi, Head of the Organization Unit at the ruling party said they have reached 60% of the process of the replacement of leaders at the party. 2669 party members have been elected on the level of districts while the vote count is still withheld in five governates.

Concerning the representation of women in the party, al-Zuhairi, member of the PGC General Committee, confirmed the selected leading women numbered 1285 on the level of governorates.

Decisions taken by the ruling party to reshuffle its leadership comes amid preparations for the 2006 presidential elections, competing with the opposition parties who plan to have joint efforts in the event.

Reliable sources told the Yemen Times the ruling party will name its presidential candidate in coming November in its seventh conference due to be held in the city of Aden. All the participants in the conference due to be attended by President Saleh, Chairman of the Party will insist on Saleh to come back on his decision and stand in 2006 presidential elections that is his last term under the Yemeni constitution, the sources predicted.

Such procedures are thought of as the biggest organizational and democratic event adopted by the ruling party to embody proper democratic principles. The ruling party is attempting to correct its internal situations to race with opposition parties, mainly the Yemeni Congregation Party (Islah) the big rival, for the presidential and local elections.

The Islah Party and its leadership are still studying the President's decision not take part in the coming presidential elections. The President's declaration was welcomed by the Joint Opposition Meeting Parties considering it a distinctive initiative, the first of its kind in the Arab World.

Despite the fact the Yemeni Socialist and Nasserite parties have shown desire to select on candidate for all the opposition parties, the Islah party avoids talk on this matter since there is enough time for selecting the eligible presidential candidate.

The Islah party, seemingly a big political organization and staunch ally with the Yemeni Socialist party and the other opposition parties, is still exchanging ideas with the ruling party about the selection of a presidential candidate.

By the second half of the current month, the opposition party leaders will have approved the political reforms program to be adopted by their presidential candidate.

Disappointment is pervading the Yemeni street as there is no integral role played by the opposition parties who seem to subordinate their interests at the expense of forming a strong opposition to the ruling party.

Political analysts hold the view that the Joint Opposition Meeting Parties will fail in taking a unanimous decision for the selection of a single presidential candidate to represent them.