..I actually wrote this on election day but with the pure frustration of the one man Selection…I just didn’t post…
The long awaited and controversial elections finally came and Abdo Mansor Hadi is now ‘officially’ considered as president of Yemen. The views across Yemen varied some glad of the fact that Ali Abdullah Saleh will no longer legally be the president. Others in Yemen were glad of a resolution to ease the political crisis – while some youth and activists rejected the GCC, UN endorsed imposed leader.
Some voters proudly showed off their inked thumbs, while boycotters of the ‘election’ inked their thumbs in red as a sign that their revolution was still ongoing. Calls for elections to be boycotted were echoed most strongly in the south where people believe they’ve been yet again ignored. As well as independent youth who still say their revolution is far from over. Houthi’s also called for elections to be boycotted based on their rejection of the GCC deal.
Yemen is facing an ever worsening humanitarian crisis with figures of malnourished children above worldwide recognised emergency levels. A major issue in this whole uncontested election is how is then with all the problems facing Yemen that a one man presidential campaign has reportedly cost $48 million? In the poorest country in the ME should this be accepted and simply shrugged off?!
The revolution seems to have been cheated by all factions involved in the political process. Firstly some revolutionists feel that the opposition party sold them out in order to gain more control within the government. Secondly the people were forced to accept the GCC deal which granted impunity to both former president Saleh and affiliated associates – thus none would be punished for crimes committed. For the GCC deal to now override the Yemeni constitution which states that an election must have more than one candidate seemed illogical..But proved who was running the ‘new Yemen’. To add to it all Saleh might’ve stepped down but his family members hold major positions within military. The big question should be how will they be gotten rid of? And lets be honest now – who really has faith that all of Saleh’s family [& influence] will be gone?!
The above diagram shows who is in charge of what and the relationship to the ex dictator.
Now after looking at that diagram and bearing in mind that Saleh has immunity it really feels like this ‘revolution’ was anything but a ‘revolution’. Personally with regards to elections I fell into the category of ‘boycott elections’ simply because the people took to the streets to overthrow a dictator; an imposed ‘leader’. The people did not peacefully protest and exceed all expectations to have other countries dictate Yemen’s future with another imposed leader. Legitimate democracy was and is the demand. I know this will not be easy and although some may argue that this is better than bloodshed or civil war but to be honest these are the arguments I heard put forward to not start the revolution in the first place. People could and should finish what they started. Personally I feel that impunity and the GCC deal without the clause of Hadi [ for 2 years] could’ve been a good option; [ might’ve been easier to digest however painful]. If there was more of an effort to include the southern movement and Houthi’s into this political dialogue Yemen could’ve been on the road to change..It now seems [to me] that both of the factions will not easily engage with Hadi at later dates as they were never addressed beforehand. Enforcement of rule and exclusion and division is what the old regime based it self on; nothing seems to have changed.
As Summer Nasser who is currently in Aden states:
“Not a lot of people are paying attention to Aden and how the security forces suppress the lives of innocent Adeni people almost daily. It is mostly infasli [Southern secessionist] people. The southern flags are in every corner.”
The above observation to me rings alarm bells; while Hadi was getting sworn in as president on Monday people were dying in Aden..That to me rings alarm bells.. Yet again though all I see is exclusion from the government and unwillingness to accept that there are big problems; ones that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. I see [Some northerners & Government] who seem to think unity can be imposed. Unity cannot be forced upon any and a country should be fair for all its citizens – not the few who conform to the idea of the majority. Personally although I want nothing more than my country united I also want both Houthi’s and Southerners included..Anything less would prove this ‘new’ government is an extension of the ‘old’ one. To accept anything less would be to undermine the very democracy we [ ordinary citizens] strive for. Some may mention the ‘Iran’ Houthi card and the ‘Selfish’ Southerners card..Let me just say I really don’t give a damn about ‘conspiracies’. The old regime killed and oppressed [all of Yemen] but particularly them..How about we try other means of inclusion – and how about we do it fast?! Surely we shouldn’t carry on doing what the old regime did..A ‘new Yemen’ will only be one when Saleh and CO are rid of [corruption eliminated & all signs of regime gone] and when we dismantle the misconceptions Saleh has so cleverly cemented in order to divide us.
….To be continued….