The regime’s journey in search for alternatives [Archives:2009/1224/Opinion]

January 12 2009

Dr. Nasser Mohammed Nasser
Undoubtedly, the regime in its current state may not survive. This is a real fact evidently understood by the regime and the opposition as well with a minor difference that the opposition and other effective groups in society see that change is the only workable solution to help the regime get rid of its current dilemma.

The regime, on the other hand, sees that deliverance lies in other alternatives, some of which are external experiences that can be applied on the ground in Yemen. What are these experiences and is it possible for them to be transferred into Yemen?

Over the past few weeks, the regime sent some of its senior officials to North Korea and Syria and talked about effectiveness of the Chinese standing experience, based on the single-party system, which protected China from fragmentation. This experience helped China escape a destiny similar to that of Russia.

Unlike the opposition and the educated elite, the regime in Yemen doesn't see that the solution lies in the maximum margin of freedoms that may help fight corruption and drives the wheels of development forward. The regime holds the view that the solution lies in applying the single-party system. As a result, it attempts to utilize the just said three experiences, however, I am personally convinced that it is impossible for the regime to benefit from any of them.

As for North Korea, the regime failed to bring about good development, but it managed to build a central state and military institutions armed with nuclear weapons. It is a glorious achievement the Korean regime must be proud of.

When it comes to the Syrian experience, this kind of experience is impossible to be applied here in Yemen. In Syria, there is neither democracy nor political freedoms, but there is good living stability, and the price of a Syrian Lira against one US dollar remained stable for almost three decades.

Peoples' versus elites' demands

Three decades ago, the US dollar's price was nine Yemeni Riyals. In Syria there is surplus food production while Yemen imports for its citizens grains given to animals elsewhere. Therefore, democracy in Syria is a demand for the elite rather than the people. Is it possible for Yemen's regime to make surplus food production in order convert demands for change from the level of ordinary citizens to the level of elites? The latter's demands may be ignored while the formers' not.

The regime is failed and cannot reached similar achievements to those made by Syria. Therefore, the Syrian experience is inapplicable in Yemen.

With regard to the Chinese experience, it is absurd for the regime to think that it is able to apply such a unique experience in Yemen. China's economy grows by 10 percent a year, and neither the United States of America nor any of the European Union States could score such an economic growth rate.

In addition, Chinas has competent and prudent regime with effective tools for managing the great nation's affairs. In China, the death sentence is the punishment for anybody found guilty of embezzling public funds, while in Yemen, punishment is rewarding the embezzler with a ministerial position.

Does the regime imagine that by applying the single-party system, it will make Yemen a copy of the Chinese experience? The Chinese experience is also inapplicable here in Yemen.

Additionally, I would like to state that all the three experiences are suffering a dilemma. The regimes in both North Korea and Syria live in a state of international isolation. Despite the local achievements both regimes made, they lack comfort and are susceptible to targeting and change. China, on the other hand, understands that the single-party system is temporary irrespective of its long stay. It understands that its economic development will eventually lead to social development, which may overthrow the single-party system.

Source: Al-Wasat Weekly