Third local council conference [Archives:2004/797/Local News]

December 9 2004

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
The third local council conference, which lasted for three days and included 839 members from the central and local authorities, concluded on Dec. 6.
“Decentralization is the future choice” was the slogan of the conference, which was inaugurated by the President Saleh who stressed in his speech that the experience of local authority is the base of pride for many countries across the world. He said the local authority experience has been positive and is essential to national unification in every country.
He also emphasized the importance of the participation of different political forces within the local councils, the General People Congress having won 49 per cent of local seats, followed by Islah with 24 per cent and the Yemeni Socialist Party with 3.6 per cent. Smaller parties and independent forces also participate in the decision-making process.
The conference, chaired by Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal, discussed the performance of local councils, the executive systems, and the relationship between the systems of central and local authorities.
The Ministry of Local Administration presented a report that reviewed the quality of local councils' performance, ambition and ability to adhere to the outcomes of the first and second conferences.
The report said that the regular attendance of local council members in all the administrative units was as usually as high as 88.5%. In Ibb, Mahweet, Sana'a, Dhal'e. Aden, and Beidha, however, attendance records of local council members reached 100 percent.
Five groups were formed in the conference to discuss work papers on the changes witnessed by Yemen during the period of decentralization. The papers focused on the realities and difficulties faced by various local authorities, and attention was drawn to the need to enhance the infrastructure of local councils, expand national participation, and increase women's participation in the councils.
The project aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the local councils as well as raising awareness and effective participation in the development of the country. However, several of the papers indicated that the performance of the local councils have improved in several districts.