The presidency requires popular legitimacy [Archives:2006/957/Opinion]

June 22 2006

Abdurrahim Muhsin
The military ruler of Yemen is obstinate stickler for he sees in his crystal ball that 28 years of power as a tax for Yemenis to pay in return for his acceptance to rule the country at decisive moment in the country's history. He's noticed that elites are not at the level of filling the gap that would result if he left the palace at this critical moment. Moreover, he sees that his idiosyncratic doctrines might be rubbed off the map if imamate supporters and other separatists gain power, as he declared in his shadowy address.

The central administration of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) is unsure of the president's behavior, especially of his periodic projects to generate unrest between people and his practice of tyranny.

In my opinion, the Opposition sees that it is not up to the challenge of presenting their own presidential candidate. The Opposition realizes that it lacks the wherewithal to compete with a shade that hides behind military barracks and security forces, hinting that he will deploy them against voters. For more than 25 years, Saleh has exploited his control of the state's treasury, media, patronage, and the monopoly over power to make his reign permanent.

There are two conflicting visions of Yemen's future: one is that of the people and the other of the existing power of the regime. Time is limited, for the presidency's nomination is at the end of the month. We have just 13 days until then, while we have about 3 months left until the voting process begins.

Within this short period of time, the central leadership of the JMP has done little to challenge the status quo. The JMP has left candidates for the presidency to fight in newspapers and websites to little effect. The JMP has not told candidates whether it will give them their vote to enter the paradise that is the presidency. Further, the central leadership has not named its candidate for the presidency for fear of his or her assassination.

From my viewpoint, the silence of JMP's central leadership and its refusal to name a candidate are wise choices. The silence of the JMP is a natural response to Yemen's political scene. Right from the beginning, I can guarantee that legitimacy in the public's eye will make or break Yemen's next president.

For those who are in hurry, I would say that the he “who waited for one year, can wait for one more month.” This is an incentive for preparing the public legitimacy in an all-inclusive way in order to give birth to long-lasting democracy and an united parliamentary system.

In order to achieve the aforementioned vision we, in my opinion, have to do the following. First, we have to leave the ruler to decompose out of his obstinacy and arrogance. His power is responsible for the forging of elections. His power has brought about different economical, social, political, and to some extent, factional problems. When the JMP does not present a candidate, the ruler will be compelled to beg the JMP for national and political consensus or resort to picking a weak candidate from his entourage.

Second, we have to leave Saleh to stand alone as a candidate for the presidency, wearing his megalomaniac attire. Recalling Al-Hamidi's murder in a secondhand market on 45 Meter Street, the nature of the regime's detestable fanaticism has gone far beyond the constitution and the law. The crime plays a part in unveiling the illegitimacy of power since the Law of Penalty states in the Article 23 that an accomplice to a crime is one who provides assistance to some party who intends to commit a crime.

This crime, and similar mayhem, will be a rich issue for uncovering the regime's corruption that aims to exploit power for another seven years. Each Sanhani working in the Special Forces, the Republican Guard, and National Security will be able to walk on the dignity of the people after such a continuation of Saleh's rule.

Abdulrrahim Muhsin is a well-known Yemeni journalist and opposition activist. Established the anti-regime movement called “Irhalo” which means get out. He was a former media person of the presidency office.