Saleh calls on political parties to participate in upcoming elections [Archives:2008/1199/Front Page]

October 16 2008

By: Mohammed Bin Sallam
and Aqeel Al-Halali

SANA'A, Oct. 15 ) As Yemenis marked the 45th anniversary of 14 October 1963 Revolution against the British occupation of South Yemen on Tuesday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on all political parties to shoulder responsibility toward constitutional legitimacy and participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

In his speech at the Republican Guards Division in Sana'a, Saleh also called on religious scholars, educated people, media personnel, writers and philanthropists to work together to raise a new generation armed with knowledge and free of complexes in order to conserve the achievements of the revolution.

Saleh called for promoting moderation and rejecting all the forms of extremism and fanaticism, advising people not to give a chance to what he called “malicious individuals” to fuel violence and sedition in the nation.

Saleh pointed out that those bearing malice against the nation are failed minorities, who only represent themselves, while Yemen's 23 million-strong population cares about security, peace, stability and development.

“Since Yemen was reunified on 22 May 1990, a new younger generation has appeared and is already seen as the army of the unity,” Saleh said, “Unity is a great national achievement and is well-established like mountains. Unity is not a commodity for sale and it is impossible for malicious individuals to harm such a glorious achievement.”

According to Saleh, those plotting to harm national unity are individuals whose personal interests have been hurt and who claim to call for reforms and the rescue of the nation from an alleged crisis when, in fact, they should first be rescuing themselves from malice.

Numan: Reform is key to establishing fair electoral system

During his extraordinary meeting with political leaders from southern governorates on the 45th Anniversary of 14 October 1963 Revolution, Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) Secretary-General Dr. Yasin Saeed Numan stressed the necessity of conducting comprehensive political and constitutional reform in Yemen in order to rescue the country from its current crisis and review building the modern state on the basis of decentralization and democracy.

According to Numan, the comprehensive reform program, if implemented, will enhance national partnership and create a fair electoral system that helps democracy develop and allows women and the various parties to be represented in Parliament.

Media sources said that, during the meeting, YSP Secretary-General highlighted the one-side procedures taken by the authority and its ruling party while preparing for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Numan accused the authority of planning to control election results in advance in favor of its ruling party, and stressed that this violates the Constitution of the Republic of Yemen and the Parliament's bylaw.

Numan went on to say that the government and its ruling party had breached all previous agreements they signed with Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), under which both sides had undertaken to implement recommendations released by European Union Election Observation Mission after Yemen's presidential and local elections in September 2006.

Al-Naqeeb, head of the Yemeni Socialist Party's parliamentary group, said in a statement to the Yemen Times that the participation of the JMP in the upcoming elections was dependent on the reformation of the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum (SCER) and it being voted on again in Parliament.

He explained that the JMP had refused to participate in the SCER due to its illegitimacy.

In a related event, JMP spokesman Mohammed Al-Mansour accused the Yemeni government, in a statement to Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, of monopolizing the cards of the Yemeni political game, because it holds the majority in Parliament and controls the public media. He called on the ruling party to pull away from “crisis speech” and deal with issues in a responsible manner.