Saleh opens new page with opposition [Archives:2006/988/Front Page]

October 9 2006

Mohammed Al-Jabri
SANA'A, Oct. 7 ) “Tonight, I'm announcing a great surprise for our citizens in implementing the president's electoral platform and that is to elect governors, district heads and local council secretaries-general via local authority members who are elected by the people,” Saleh said.

He added that financial and administrative decentralization will replace the current centralization system, wherein the local authority is authorized with all powers and authority.

Secondly, he announced rotating public employment positions so that “no government official's stay will exceed four years in any state institution.”

Affirming his fight against corruption, Saleh stated that an independent national committee will fight corruption and corrupt individuals. Another independent committee regarding tenders and bidding also will be established, he added.

Lastly, Saleh asserted that a new page will be opened with opposition and the JMP. “Although JMP election address was characterized in a manner of upheaval under the umbrella of democracy, we'll brush that aside and start a new page with them and with opposition parties in general, even those that called for a public coup. We'll do this because our homeland is more precious than any one individual or group,” he noted.

Saleh renewed his call for all parties to unite their efforts without exception “We hope opposition will heed this call. If opposition parties had won the majority of local council seats, I don't think they'd show such clemency and draw the curtain on previous events. Instead, they'd settle an account with us,” he asserted.

Yemen is one of the world's poorest nations, with a population of more than 20 million. Rampant corruption in all state institutions affects citizens' lives as well as the nation's development.

In most speeches and interviews, Saleh speaks much about corruption and ways to curb it; and he particularly stressed the issue throughout his election campaign. His electoral platform enhances efforts to reduce unemployment and combat poverty and corruption, which is a consistent aim and an ongoing effort.