Posts from the ‘Yemen’ Category

Saleh to Stay in Yemen Until Veep Named President – Source

Asharq al Awsat – Jan. 7

Saleh to Stay in Yemen Until Veep Named President – Source

An official Yemeni source said President Saleh’s travel to US is not a priority in the current stage and that Saleh intends to stay in Yemen until the coming presidential elections and until his vice president is named the new president of the country.

“Discussing the issue of President Saleh’s travel to US is a media luxury. That issue is not part of the Gulf Initiative or its executive mechanism. The issue was settled this way: Saleh will stay in Yemen until the political process is completed,” said Abdul Hafeez al Nahari, chief of the Media Department in the General People’s Congress (or GPC – the ruling political party in Yemen) in a phone interview with Asharq al Awsat.

“GPC members requested President Saleh to stay in Yemen in this critical stage in order to help the organizational process inside the party and help the vice president succeed in managing the political process. The president answered their request,” he noted.

Al Nahari said some media tries to make a problem out of the issue of his travel or his stay in Yemen and, indeed, his stay in Yemen is a factor of stability and a helping element for the vice president. His presence in Yemen has helped a lot in unifying the GPC and the House of Representatives and also helped in shaping the new government and the military committee and helped in removing the obstacles in Sanaa, Taiz and other provinces.


Yemen Transitional Council Member: “We Do Not Know Who Runs Yemen Now”

Asharq al Awsat – July 27, 2011

Yemen Transitional Council Member: “We Do Not Know Who Runs Yemen Now”

Huriya Mashour, member of the Yemeni transitional presidential council, said despite all Gulf and international efforts, President Saleh is sticking to power refusing to transfer power and does not want to help and contribute to rescuing the country.

She expressed reservations about the UN initiative to solve the Yemeni crisis and said: “I am afraid the initiative was meant to waste time just like the Gulf initiative which was rejected by the regime and I am afraid the UN initiative seeks procrastination, postponement and purchase of time. I think no benefit can be gained from that initiative.”

She criticized the way Yemen’s vice president is acting since he got powers from Saleh who left Yemen for medical surgeries in Saudi Arabia.

“Actually, his performance was not good because all matters deteriorated more largely than ever before. For example, services deteriorated, as well as security and there are armed clashes in Taiz and Arhab and other areas. There is a vacuum and we do not know who runs the country now.”

[Huriya Mashour was a member in the Yemeni ruling party and chairman of the National Committee for Women. But after revolution erupted and violence against demonstrators, she was one of the first Yemeni officials who defected from the Saleh’s regime and joined the rebels. Lately, she was selected as a member of the transitional presidential council, which consists of 17 personalities.]

Yemenis Build Transitional Council

Yemen Rebels Set up Transitional Council

A youth opposition faction named itself the preparatory commission for revolution youth council has declared the setup of a transitional presidential council to run the country.

Names of the council’s 17 members were announced in a press conference yesterday.

The council is headed by ex-prime minister Haidar Abu Bakr al Attas – a prominent opposition figure living abroad.

The council includes important members such as:

1-       the former defense minister Maj. Gen. Abdullah Ali Eleiwa, who will be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces

2-       Judge Faheem Mohsen, chief of the Supreme Judiciary Council

3-       Former president of South Yemen Ali Nasser Mohamed, an opposition figure in exile

4-       Abdullah Salam al Hakimi

5-       Businessman Jamal al Mitrib

6-       Former member of parliament Saad Eddin ben Taleb

Other members are famous opposition figures, partisan personalities and parliamentarians.

Revolution Youth, who set up the council, said the council will run the country in the coming transitional period, which will not exceed 9 months, starting from the day of the first meeting of the council members.

The council will be responsible for answering the demands of the revolution.

One of the council members will be responsible for establishing a technocrat government.

This came as Yemenis are getting clashing reports on Saleh’s return. He is supposed to return today, July 17, according to unofficial expectations.

July 17 marks the 33rd anniversary of Saleh’s assumption of power. He became president on July 17, 1978.

Moreover, a transitional national council is to be formed to assume legislative and supervisory duties and put a new constitution, according to results of the national dialog.

The national council will also oversee a national dialog to reach a fair solution for the issue of southern Yemen and the Saada issue.

The transitional national council would include as many as 501 members.

Negotiations in Yemen to Amend Gulf Plan

Negotiations in Yemen to Amend Gulf Plan

Negotiations are underway among Yemeni sides to amend the Gulf initiative that aims to solve the crisis, pro- and anti-Saleh political sources in Sanaa said.

They are sponsored by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and supported by US Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald M. Feierstein and Gulf parties.

Negotiators want to extend the transitional period during which Yemeni VP assumes President Saleh’s powers until the presidential elections in Sept. 2013.

During that period, said the sources, a national unity government would be formed by opposition parties that shape the Joint Meeting bloc.

That government shall run the country’s affairs, set the stage politically and at the security level for new elections, restore government control over all provinces and adjust the situations of the military and security bodies, according to the sources.

The opposition said it takes Ban Ki-moon’s proposals seriously and discusses them, but it demands that first of all the power must be transferred to VP before any dialog on the transitional period with other political forces, including the ruling party.

If all options failed, said the sources, the Joint Meeting Parties may establish a transitional council, which protesters want to establish to run the country.

That council would not be declared before two weeks, waiting to decide which forces will join it and percentage of representation for each.

Saleh’s Health, Biggest Question

Saleh’s Health Fuels Doubts in Yemen

 Saleh’s injuries will prevent him from performing his duties for several months, which increases uncertainty in the country, according to a senior Yemeni official who is familiar with the matter.

Yemen lives a state of stalemate since Saleh departed to Saudi Arabia for medical surgery.

Thousands continue demonstrating across Yemen. The economy is collapsing. But Saleh’s relatives insist on staying in power, alleging they must be there to protect the country from Islamists, who seek to control power.

They also keep saying Saleh is coming back soon. Saleh’s absence was supposed to lead to power transfer and transitional period. The opposition, the US and some ruling party members were happy this would happen easier in Saleh’s absence.

On the contrary, his absence aggravated the crisis as Islamists got more powerful in the south.

“We face a political and military standstill. What we’re doing? We need to think how to get out of the crisis,” said Abdul Karim Eryani, former PM and presidential adviser.

Some proposals are at hand such as forming a national unity government. That proposal was introduced by some GCC countries led by Riyadh. It is largely backed by western countries.

Noteworthy, Saleh accepted that proposal before he got injured, but refused to sign it.

Now: Saleh is no longer able to run the country…his relatives are the main obstacle because they occupy high posts in the security institution such as his son and three of his nephews.

Yemeni officials call that group “the alternatives”. They reject the legitimacy of the more than 5-month-old revolt.

Brigadier Gen. Yahya Saleh – one of Saleh’s nephews- said in an interview at his office at the headquarters of the semi-military central security forces, which he leads: “The problem is that the world thinks it is a youth revolution. How many people stand there in squares? Do they represent the majority? Can the minority rule the majority in a democratic country? They should show some self-respect and get back to their homes. Five months passed and the situation got really ridiculous.”

Analysts say the situation has not worsened in Yemen because the anti- and pro-Saleh groups are armed.

Brig. Gen. Saleh also said: “The Americans mistake when supporting any change that may help extremists and Muslim Brotherhood to control power.”

He said any attempt to help moderate Islamists play a role in the political process will be faced strongly by reform party extremists.

Saleh’s Return to Yemen

Yemen VP: “We Do not Know When Saleh Will Return”

Yemeni opposition denied receiving any invitation from President Saleh to get into a dialog in order to implement the Gulf initiative to transfer power.

Reports about Saleh’s health condition remain vague.

Vice President, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said Saleh was seriously injured in different parts of his body.

“Saleh’s return to Yemen depends on doctors’ decision. This would take days, weeks or even months,” Hadi said.

Hadi refuses to start a power transfer process, arguing that Saleh should return to Yemen first to start that process.

Sultan Atwani – secretary of the Nasserite Party (one of several parties that form the Yemeni opposition bloc Joint Meeting Parties) – said: “Saleh became a history and no calls may be directed to someone unknown” (he means Saleh himself).

Atwani said the opposition received no invitation for dialog, even from the Gulf officials, who seem unserious about implementing the Gulf initiative.

He said: “So far, GCC countries failed to give a clear stance regarding Saleh’s disapproval to sign the initiative. They also failed to announce Saleh’s exit from the political process.”

According to Atwani, Gulf leaders do not like to confess that the Yemeni revolution has already won, stressing that “the revolution does not pose any threat to the GCC member countries.”

But Atwani said there are contacts between vice president and the opposition to start power transfer and to put an executive program and timetable for implementing the Gulf initiative.

Atwani also confirmed that vice president does not enjoy full powers to run the country because Saleh’s sons control almost everything.