WILL BA-JAMMAL BE  THE RIGHT MAN? [Archives:2001/14/Front Page]

April 2 2001

President Ali Abdullah Saleh passed a republican decree on Saturday, appointing Mr Abdulqader Abdulrahman Ba-Jammal as the prime minister. Mr Ba-Jammal is expected to form the new government in the coming few days. He has replaced Dr. Abdulkareem Al-Iryani who resigned on health reasons.
The new government also reflects the desire of President Saleh to usher in change through faces and new blood to the power center and, thereby, refresh the political life in the country. The new cabinet is expected to include two new positions, which are expected to be for the environment as well as higher studies. A female minister is also expected to to be sworn in.
The government of Dr. Iryani was ruthlessly attacked during the last few years by some newspapers which accused him of being corrupt and crooked, putting the country into the turmoil of poverty through the economic reform package. Massive demonstrations were held against the government of Iryani in 1998, demanding his resignation over lifting the subsidies on foodstuff and oil products.
The ruthless attack which Iryani came under is said to be due to in-fighting at the power center and the desire of the tribal groups for the removal of Iryani.
Ba-Jammal was born in Hadhramout on February 18, 1946. He is married with four sons and daughters. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Cairo University in 1974 as well as a Diploma in Business Management in 1979.
He chaired the Arab Nationalists Students Union in Cairo in 1969. He joined the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) since the independence of the South and took over different positions in the party. He served as the Minister of Planning in Aden in 1979, and Minister of Industry and Chairman of Oil and Mineral Resources Authority in 1980. He was a teacher at the Faculty of Economics, Aden University between 1978-1980 and a Minster of Minerals in 1985.
When the in-fighting in the YSP erupted on January 13, 1986, resulting in the removal of President Ali Nasser Mohammed, Ba-Jammal was put in prison for over three years with the charge of working against the principles of socialism in the South. When Yemen was reunited in 1990, he joined the GPC and, since then, has been working hard for the party, particularly in the southern and eastern governorates (the heart of the YSP).
He was nominated a member of Central Committee of the GPC in 1990 and in 1991 he was appointed the chairman of the General Authority for Free Zones. During the civil war in 1994, he served as the Deputy Prime Minister and a Minster of Planning and Development in the government of Abdulaziz Abdulghani. He maintained the post in the government of Dr. Faraj bin Ghanem. He worked as Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Foreign Affairs in the outgoing government of Mr. Iryani. Mr. Ba-Jammal has made outstanding contributions to politics, economics, and development. He co-authored a book titled ” Samples of Development in the Arab World”. His government whose members are not yet known will be faced by several economic and social problems. These include continuing the implementation of the economic reform package, privatization, Yemen’s Vision in 2025, as well as curbing corruption, unemployment, poverty and many other ordeals that were problems for Mr. Iryani. The question now is: Will Ba-Jammal be the man to breathe a new life into the country? Let’s wait and see!