The official destruction of democracy [Archives:2009/1224/Opinion]

January 12 2009

Raddad Al-Salami
Last week, I went to cover a symposium entitled “Electoral Process Management and Future of Yemen's Democracy”, which was moderated by a center, supposed to be neutral while recording transformations and assessing Yemen's democratic experience, aside from employing that to hinder democracy and spark controversy about its deterioration.

I saw that the symposium is unable to identify the real reasons behind recession of Yemen's democracy, which has been employed in favor of the ruling party. Even worse, this party puts the blame on opposition parties for any notable democratic recession and attributes any positive aspects of the democratic progress to its efforts.

The paper, submitted by former President of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Abdulbari Taher and his remarks were, in my opinion, the most constructive and tangible ever seen throughout the event. Unlike the symposium moderators, who tend to justify the official destruction of democracy, Taher's paper and remarks really identify the real causes that made Yemen's democracy progress backward.

Many participants didn't even considered the assessment of democracy made by the center staff, and therefore labeled the symposium as merely demonstrating visions of political elites with the aim of identifying the ongoing assessment. Identifying the accurate visions of those political elites may help create a tangible assessment for the decision maker on the elite's understanding of what happens on the ground.

The symposium seemed to be like a closed dialogue, as no even a single satellite channel came to cover the event in order to convey facts to people, who should know that the symposium was held for reasons related with democracy recession.

In fact, it is the current regime in Yemen that destroyed all the necessary components for democratic development and prosperity. The phenomenon of democratic recession over the past few years is the direct result of formal culture's dominance over the culture of essence and content.

Democracy as an indispensable reference

Certainly, real democracy is a good solution to any pressing problems, and without democracy such problems will remain unsolved. Violence will never build a good nation while chaos may spare nothing for us. Intentional democracy is that one, which is currently used by the entire world as an indispensable reference for tackling issues and problems.

Democracy is not merely allegations, baseless speeches or lies. Democracy is comprised of good intents that are translated by moderate behaviors and embodied by real facts on the ground. The talk about democracy for the sake of talk is no longer feasible.

Therefore, we turned to see democracy as a kind of illusion and baseless lies practiced by decision makers in an attempt to convince us that we are liberals. What we see is different from what we hear, and what is applied on the ground is different from what is written in plans. Through a faked democracy, the regime attempts to mislead us that we are leading a joyful and democratic life, which had never been seen by our forefathers, with the intention to make us accept what is available before our eyes and be submissive to it.

What we have been seeking was never achieved while what our forefathers sought was already achieved, and the clearest evidence in support of this is that they resisted tyranny and occupation and organized two revolutions in order to get rid of tyranny and occupation. Our forefathers also set certain objectives for us to achieve. Regretfully, we found ourselves living under dominance and oppression supported by decorative democracy and faked progress.