Ruling party wins majority of governor seats amid absent rivalry [Archives:2008/1156/Front Page]

May 19 2008

Mohammed Bin Sallam
SANA'A, May 18 ) Yemen's Ministry of Local Administration has announced the results of Saturday's gubernatorial elections in the capital and in the other governorates, with the exception of Al-Dhale' where voting was postponed due to an inadequate quorum of voting staff, which are local councilors who are the only voters eligible to elect governors.

The process was hampered in Al-Dhale' governorate, where the majority of local councilors belong to the Joint Meeting Parties. However, the elections took place the following day, and independent candidate Brigade Ali Qassim Taleb (a local from Dhale') was the only candidate and a former socialist was elected as governor. This is the only governorate where members of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties participated in the elections, however, they did not represent their parties, and represented themselves as independent. According to JMP spokes person, there had been fraud in this process claiming that there should not have been any kind of elections in Al-Dhale' due to the incomplete quorum. Denying that their members could have participated in the voting. In response to this, Ali Saleh Abdullah head of the supervising committee emphasized that there had been no violations, and he is ready to present the registration and voting cards with the finger prints of the voters.

In a statement released Saturday, the Local Administration Ministry said voter turnout was 87 percent, further affirming that the elections were conducted in safe atmospheres.

The statement revealed the voting results and the names of winners in the capital, where Abdurrahman Al-Akwa was elected mayor, and in the other 19 governorates. The results disclosed that Dr. Adnan Al-Jifri of Shabwa won the post of Aden governor, while former Civil Service and Insurance Minister Hamoud Khalid Al-Sufi was elected governor of Taiz by a majority of local councilor votes.

According to the results, Mohsen Ali Naji Al-Naqeeb won the governor's post in Lahj, Ahmad Abdullah Al-Hajeri won in Ibb and Ahmad Ahmad Mohammed Al-Maisari won in his home governorate of Abyan, as did independent candidate Mohammed Nasser Al-Ameri, who won in his home governorate of Al-Beidha.

The statement noted that the following won governor's posts in their home governorates: Yahya Ali Mohammed Al-Amri in Dhamar, Nu'man Ahmad Saleh Duwaid in Sana'a, Ahmad Salem Al-Jabali in Hodeidah, Dr. Ali Hassan Al-Ahmadi in Shabwa, Dr. Salem Ahmad Al-Khanbashi in Hadramout and Ali Mohammed Khawdam in Al-Mahrah.

Likewise, Ahmad Ali Mohsen of Shabwa was elected governor of Al-Mahwit governorate, Farid Ahmad Mujawar, also from Shabwa, won as Hajjah governor, while Hassan Mohammed Manaa won the governor's post in his home governorate of Sa'ada, as did independent candidates Hamad Mohammed Al-Ezzi Abdan in Al-Jawf and Naji Ali Ali Al-Zaydi in Marib, both elected in their home governorates.

According to the ministry's results, Kahlan Mujahid Abu Shawarib of Amran was elected Amran governor by local councilors, as was Ali Salim Al-Khadhmi, who will serve as Raymah's governor.

The Local Administration Ministry declared the postponement of gubernatorial elections in Al-Dhale' due to an incomplete quorum, which is legally required in order for local councilors to vote. In its statement, the ministry said, “According to legal provisions regarding amending the 2000 Local Authority Law No. 4, as well as bylaws concerning gubernatorial election procedures, the ministry will dictate business procedures and rules to the elected governors to follow accordingly once the legal time period for filing relevant challenges – if any – to the competent judicial authorities ends.

In accordance with gubernatorial election procedures bylaws, candidates are entitled to appeal the results of Saturday's voting in any governorate by filing challenges with a newly formed judicial body comprised of the chair and members of the appeals court in each governorate within 48 hours of the announced voting results.

The relevant judicial body then must discuss any appeals within three days after the deadline to submit challenges, as well as inform the Local Administration Ministry's Supervisory Committee, which is in charge of overseeing gubernatorial elections, about any challenges submitted.

Bylaws concerning gubernatorial election procedures oblige the Supervisory Committee chair to inform the ministry about any challenges as they are filed, as well as any decisions made in their regard.

As many as 6,579 out of a total of 7,484 local councilors elected governors in Yemen's 20 governorates, as well as in its capital city. These local councilors represent voting staff in 21 governorates and 333 districts nationwide. Some 5,461 of the total elected local councilors are affiliated with the ruling General People's Congress, the party with the majority of local council seats in every governorate except Al-Dhale'.

Only seven governorates witnessed strong competition between candidates, while ruling party (GPC) gubernatorial candidates were unrivaled in the other governorates.