Thousands chant for Bin Shamlan [Archives:2006/976/Front Page]

August 28 2006

Saddam Al-Ashmori
SANA'A, Aug. 27 ) The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) launched their candidate's electoral platform at Al-Thawra Stadium in Sana'a last Thursday, Aug. 23. Tens of thousands of capital citizens gathered, chanting for Faisal Bin Shamlan as Yemen's next president and a change of leader for a better future.

Addressing the crowd, Bin Shamlan expressed his trust that the JMP can make a change for the better and correct the nation's poor situation.

“Everyone asks what made me return to public life after I willingly left Parliament and the oil ministry. The JMP's project for political reform and righting the country's dire situation, as well as the increase of beggars on streets and outside mosques and homes made me return to public life because abandoning it will restrictYemen's present and future,” Bin Shamlan explained.

He also questioned the fate of millions of riyals designated for development plans, declaring that they go into corrupt officials' pockets. “We suffer too much from these conditions and our poverty increases despite development plans,” he noted.

According to Bin Shamlan, the current regime is accountable for such poor conditions, hinting at employees and state officials suffering under price hikes.

He also referred to Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA) reports documenting state corruption and public fund exploitation, as well as donor countries' resolution to halt their support.

“The only way to correct the situation is to replace the existing system with another, wherein responsibilities are divided among all to build a nation faithful to its sons and cooperative with its friends,” Bin Shamlan insisted. “The time is right for change in these elections, despite all the hurdles,” he concluded.

In the name of the JMP, Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) First Secretary, Abdulaziz Al-Zarikah, delivered a speech expressing his confidence that Bin Shamlan is competent to lead Yemen to safe harbor and create a home for all. “We trust you are able to carry the deposit and rid our country of corruption, particularly via your honesty,” Al-Zarikah remarked.

Dr. Amatasalam Raja'a, head of Islah party's women's bloc, gave another speech declaring Bin Shamlan as the fittest person to lead Yemen now. “We believe we selected the right person to lead the country's ship at this particular time, as millions of citizens suffer poverty, illiteracy and disease,” Raja'a explained.

“We urgently need to formulate desired change via a comprehensive national program to upgrade women's status, setting priorities assuring them rights in education, health and security,” she stressed.

Raja'a also mentioned the JMP's attitude toward women, which adopts an equality principle in address and responsibility. She accused official systems of imposing pressure upon women in public jobs and education, thus leading to more problems and threatening women's development.

She also called upon women from all parties to meet and discuss issues affecting women, hoping the necessary political and legal conditions for women's involvement in political life will exist.

Several attendees expressed their hope that Bin Shamlan will reach power because he's patriotic and has a clean record. “It's good that all of these citizens congregated here and I'm one of them who's hoping change will lift the country out of this nightmare. I think Bin Shamlan is competent enough,” Abdullah Saif commented.

“The JMP is taking correct steps and the best evidence of this is their selection of men who are fair,” Sheikh Jeibel Tuaiman added.

Crowds weren't confined to raising banners, but also chanted numerous slogans like: “From Socotra to Maran – no president but Bin Shamlan!” “Oh corruption, you will not remain for long – Bin Shamlan is coming!” “Oh broken projects, we're fed up with foundation stones!” and “Move our JMP – we're with you!”