Use of force is not a good solution [Archives:2008/1216/Opinion]

December 15 2008

Abdulhakim Al-Manj
How much time do we need in order to be credible and honest with ourselves? Credibility and clarity with oneself is the first steps for reforming dire situations, and it is impossible for us to improve our living conditions and prosper without credibility and clarity with oneself.

The esteemed readership may suspect that this introduction is not relevant with what I say regarding the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER), with the exception that being incredible with ourselves made us ignore seeing things as they really appear on the ground. Seemingly, we see what is wrong as correct and vice versa.

I have already reviewed some remarks and comments presented by Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) in the context of proposed amendments to the General Election Law, which are worth-discussing. Those proposed amendments need to be discussed in order to help SCER perform in a way accepted by all the political parties.

I don't know why SCER hasn't taken the initiative to suggest fundamental solutions to issues related with the voter registers. I don't know why it has not initiated endorsement of complete transparency in its operations and decisions. Had these requirements been fulfilled by SCER, we wouldn't have realized that many citizens are suspicious about its performance, and therefore direct certain charges to it.

By the end of the third millennium's first decade, we have ignored the fact that there are systems approving the thump-based detection, which nobody may be suspicious about. So, why the SCER should put an end to widely-spread suspicion about its integrity and performance, and therefore responds to what can help enhance trust in its performance and eliminate people's suspicion about its performance.

Regretfully, the government authorities gave orders to some security and military units to confront JMP demonstrators, stand in their way and direct guns at them. Such a decision was taken in an unexpected manner. Consequently, it fomented defiance on the part of demonstrators, who were not allowed to protest even for one day at Al-Tahrir Square, thereby increasing the number of participants in the demonstration, even from outside the JMP bases, while the main streets of the capital city turned out to be venues for protests.

Use of mind and logic is better

This is a prudent conclusion we reach after a serious of failed attempts. It is now that we realized our being imprudent when we decided to use force hurriedly in Sa'ada, thereby destroying our morale during the armed clashes. It is not possible for force to solve pressing problems in the nation, nor can it tackle issues of individuals.

As the use of force is an exception while mutual understanding-reliant coexistence is the best solution, no party is entitled to resort to using force unless there is a great risk threatening the nation. In addition, force must not be used domestically except under particular circumstances stipulated by the law.

Does the authority that issued a decision promoting confrontations with JMP protesters want to repeat the same mistakes it committed in previous events and create hatred and animosity toward the opposition? Certainly, it is prudence shown by some participants in the demonstration and some military and security leaders that helped put an end to clashes between protestors and police before they led to negative consequences.

It is neither in favor of the ruling party, its leadership nor anyone else to see bloodshed. In general, our problems are numerous and will never end with resolving the issue of SCER composition. Therefore, the workable solution to them must begin with dialogue, mutual understanding, as well as preferring logic and mind to force. Only through this we can reach satisfactory solutions to our pressing problems.