Supreme Commission for Violations and Fraud [Archives:2007/1113/Opinion]

December 20 2007

Raima Al-Shami
For decades, force, corruption and fraud have been the main pillars of Yemen's totalitarian regime while the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referenda plays the role of coordinating these pillars and directing them toward their main goal, which is granting fraudulent legitimacy to a totalitarian regime whenever a presidential election is conducted. Public funds, government media, state facilities, the army and the likes have become the intrinsic tools of Yemen's democracy. These tools are always used to control elections and manipulate its result in favor of the ruler and his party while SCER's duties are limited to this context, thus providing a constitutional and legal cover for the repeatedly committed frauds and violations at the expense of will of the people. This commission then presents a fraudulent victory certificate to the ruler in recognition of his fraudulent win.

As a result, it is impossible for a rule, based on corruption and its legitimacy originates from frauds and violations, to make a deal on one of its tools it always employs to encourage exercise of corruption and lengthen its stay in power by counterfeiting will of the people. The regime also deceives the outside world by the most recent presidential elections conducted in its country, which featured the ugliest forms of frauds and result manipulation.

Almost all the state's facilities including public funds, official media and army were exploited in favor of the ruling party, as well as to help in committing numerous frauds and violations, which had been recorded by various international and local observation missions. SCER even didn't remain at least silence to such violations, but its media officer turned to exercise propaganda in support of President Saleh, slamming the opposition and describing Saleh as the 'Father of Democracy'. According to the SCER media officer, without Ali Abdullah Saleh, there will be neither democracy nor elections, forgetting about his post at a commission, supposed to be independent and neutral in managing the electoral process.

In general, Abdu Al-Janadi's SCER represents a wonder of Yemen's democracy and it performed its tasks in the required way proceeding from the production of counterfeit voter registers containing more than one million and half a million ghost and minor voters. All such registers were approved to defend all the forms of violations and frauds seen throughout the different stages of the election process. This series of frauds and violations culminated with granting a fraudulent legitimacy to a corrupt regime.

For this purpose, the authority proved to be loyal with its commission, thereby suggesting an extension for this commission to be in charge of managing the coming votes, however, reports made by international and local election observation missions disclosed mass frauds and violations that accompanied the election process. These reports suggested a package of regulations and criteria to reform SCER, notably the recommendations included in the report submitted by the European Union Election Observation Mission, which were signed by the government and the opposition. Some time earlier, there was the agreement of principles, followed by the dialogue regulations, but as usual, the ruler breached all the agreements and conventions because he is unable to quit one of its tools, which he is using to ensure his stay in power for a longer period of time, if not for decades to come.

Parliamentary majority:

In order to maintain its dominance over SCER, the authority uses its parliamentary majority (the majority of MPs belong to the ruling party) as a justification to retain the same majority in SCER's formation. But, what is the parliamentary majority's relation with an election body like SCER, which is supposed to be neutral, independent and contain a balanced membership from both the government and the opposition as well, to ensure its being able to run a free and fair election, or at least to reduce electoral frauds and violations.

Suppose that all the members of Parliament, totaling 301 MPs, belong to the ruling party, will there be any objective or logical justification in order for SCER to be formed from the majority party to represent its will as we usually see at Parliament?

JMP has multiple options:

Well done, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) diagnosed an important aspect in the national crisis and the deteriorating situations experienced in the country, plus the numerous threats posed to the national unity. The JMP uncovered all the aspects of oppression, corruption and totalitarianism that have been so far exercised since the current SCER was formed. The opposition parties suggested various alternatives to the deteriorating situations, one of which is really reforming SCER in order to liberate it from its being dominantly exploited by the ruler to enhance its counterfeit legitimacy. The JMP wants SCER to be a neutral mechanism and a balanced element, as well as an independent staff performing its constitutional and legal duties in a way ensuring free and fair elections. These parties want to have a SCER that prevent any exploitation of public funds and state's facilities in favor of the ruling party.

The most important thing is that JMP has provided a national and serious vision for reforming SCER to help enhance the democratic experience in the country and prevent any attempts to defraud the popular will. According to the opposition parties, reforming SCER is key to conducting other comprehensive reforms in different areas and resolving the poor situation in the country.

The People can no longer tolerate false promises of reforms and real cures to the deteriorating situations, as well as other similar pledges to help the nation get rid of corruption and corrupt individuals. The people have understood well that the consecutive outputs of the electoral process are responsible for rampant corruption in almost all the government offices, starvation, poverty and high unemployment rates. The JMP's attitude was demonstrated in an appropriate time giving a glimpse of hope after it was about to vanish and get lost.

People don't suffer, authority alleges:

For a long time, the authority has been denying that people are suffering from its poor policies that exacerbated their living standards and encouraged corrupt and influential persons to exercise property theft. President Saleh has been repeatedly claiming that there are no congestions in the nation but congestions do exist in the heads of those who try to machinate standoffs and crises. All the tools exploited by the failed authority such as the army and security forces could not prevent citizens of the southern governorates from revolting against corruption and the liquidation policies. Instead, citizens staged huge protests against corruption and oppression, thus encouraging people in other parts of the country to revolt against the failed regime, which is exclusively accountable for the constant sufferings of its people.