When political dialogue may be possible [Archives:2007/1055/Opinion]

May 31 2007

The political dialogue can only be possible in the proper political environment where independence of the political area is complete. Then the dialogue needs a special invitation from any political organization since it will be part of the practices taking place in the political area. This generally happens in the countries of growing and ailing democracies.

For us, the political field isn't independent, starting from the point of the legitimacy issue (the highest authority). Wherever the country president is the army commander, the order is based on the principle of force not the principle of right. The controversy that has been held in Egypt since 2004 up to today, as well as the previous and coming referendum on the constitutional articles, reveal that the pivotal problem is linked with this principle. And, since 1952, such a duality in the Egyptian political environment was established, as 35 of the constitutional articles grant 65% of the effective authorities to the President of the Republic. From this point, an Egyptian liberal opposition leader says that the Primer Minister is a driver assistant while ministers are not eligible for running foodstuff stores. The core of the mock is that since 1952, the Egyptian Primer Minister doesn't interfere in politics and this is not an exaggeration. When the Prime Minister is described as technocratic, this means that the social politician is separated from technology. He tends to be a craftsman working according to directions while the state has become the presidency institution.

The issue appears more terrible, as the judgement is personal due to the low development rate of the Yemeni political feature in the area of building the state and the tribal culture, which are manifested in: the ongoing war in Sa'ada, issue of South Yemen, and corruption, that has become an independent system reproducing itself with unique efficiency. It is difficult for the regime to resolve these issues, even by dialogue or other means. The regime accuses those who don't back it in the Sa'ada war of treason and considers discussing the issue of South Yemen as an apostasy treason. The regime says it resolves the issue of corruption and is forming an anti-corruption authority. Such a task is impossible, particularly if we admit that corruption has become a system and it has a relation of identity with the regime. Both the regime and corruption are present together and should end together. The regime that is able to correct itself is only the democratic one.

What happens in the political life confirms that doors of change are ever open, but the persistent problem is that the current regime doesn't have even the slim possibility to tackle the three issues. It has become the most complicated issue. All the problems of the society and the state originate from the main problem associating with building the state. It is surprising that the political address of parties avoids talking about the issue of combining the two presidencies (presidency of the republic and council of ministers). This is a very essential introduction to implement the principle of separating between authorities, but without this, it is impossible for politics to survive.

In South Yemen, we returned to invasion forms, which we knew in the pre-Islam history and after Islam, and in North Yemen, the conflict of comprehensive fanaticism, which was embodied in the pre-unification wars, has culminated with the 1994 Civil War. Corruption is a beginning, as well as an end circulating in the world of business and interests while researchers in the science of speech acknowledge that the self-identity problem and characteristics have similar cognitive, social and political dimensions.

When the regime is a problem in itself, it has to be born in mind that dialogue with this regime is an approach to resolve the persisting problems. And, the failure of all the rounds of talks before and after the Document of Pledge and Accord, and what happened for the accord during the most recent presidential election, which currently reconfirm that dialogue is merely an attempt to make the circle a square. We remember that the Foreign Minister during the period of 1994 Civil War cancelled the Document of Pledge and Accord before the war ended. After the war, the President described the Document of Pledge and Accord as a document of treason, ignoring that he signed it in Amman in a televised scene.

For the regime, the call for dialogue is merely a whimsical need, as well as a goal by itself. The political parties insist to reapply the experience whenever an official spokesman indicates the necessity of resorting to dialogues to reach possible solutions to problems. In the meantime, the political scene becomes more comic, when all the people in the government and the opposition wear a thick mask of wisdom and talk about the most serious and critical historic stage.

Source: Al-Thawri weekly