Yemeni opposition assesses economic reform [Archives:2005/900/Business & Economy]

December 5 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Opposition parties in Yemen had on 26 November 2005 considered that phenomena of the economic crisis were heading towards expansion and taking horizontal and vertical rooting. In order to encounter the crisis and tackle its impact it has become necessary to implement a national project for comprehensive reform. The statement, signed by parties of JMP of Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah), the YSP, The Nasserite Unionist Organization, The Arab Baath Socialist Party, the Union of People's Forces and Al-Haq party, contained a project for comprehensive economic reform.

The JMP parties mentioned in their project that the priority of political reform in Yemen represented an objective need, not just desires or whims or selective estimations. The statement has claimed that because of the nature of the existing regime, it has become not possible to reform all other life aspects before effecting reform of the political system and converting it from a tool of destruction to an instrument for construction and fighting corruption. The statement accuses the regime as practicing domination on the political, economic and social situations as well as poisoning the cultural and moral life. It says those practices cause failures in all situations. It describes those practices a black hole, an element dominating movement of political forces and political, economic and social orientations. They subjugate them to their sweeping energy. This, it has become not possible to reform other aspects of life without or prior to reformation of the political system.

The statement adds that through the political reform, we can hold the practical keys for embarkment on realization of other reforms. Through it there could be available of a national will possessing elements of growth until the accomplishment of other reformatory tasks, adding that via it national instruments can be built for fighting corruption and abolishing its destructive role in the political, economic, social and cultural situation in which corruption also plays the role of hindering the movement of development and reforms in them.

The parties of the JMP, says the statement, have concluded from the lessons of the Yemeni historical experiment that adoption of parliamentary system as a substitute for the existing regime, would represent a qualitative step and decisive one in the achievement of the political reform and preparation for reforms in other areas.

The JMP projects has considered the parliamentary system as guarantor for ending the autocratic rule that constitutes a historical crisis for the Yemenis, adding that ridding of it has always been a goal of the reformative demands of the Yemeni national reformist movement since the thirties of the last century up until now. The existing regime has led to concentrate authority in the hands of head of the state, marginalize institutions.

It has changed corruption into an organized practice with which the country is run and an instrument for monopolizing authority, guaranteeing the keeping it and later bequeathing it to the sons. The existing system also has formed the ideal cover for development of forces and interests of corruption and spread of chaos at the expense of sovereignty of the law.

Consequently there exists an increasing deprivation of all sectors of the society and there existed tightening of their vital interests, as well as replacing criteria of individual loyalty in place of loyalty to the national state with respect of constitution and laws.

Economically and socially, parties of the JMP have affirmed phenomena of the crisis are seen in backwardness of the process of development, abstention of national and foreign capitals from investment in the country and officials use of their authorities on merchants and investors to impose partnerships on them, aggravation of poverty, dangerous proportion of unemployment, sharp decline in the individual income, steady retreat of educational, health, electricity and other social services. Added to that is backwardness of the level of and efficiency of infrastructures.

All this is derived from official and international statements and reports. Against all that there are the free hand of corruption, domination of the mafia of illegal interests, the expanding gap between the poor and the wealthy, decline of the middle class and failure of the government's economic treatments since 1995 until now.