Saleh’s Appeasement Strategy – Reform Proposals

Boy, there is something in this for everyone.  

Saleh’s proposals cut the presidential and Parliamentary terms back to the original pre-2000 numbers. More importantly, there are a number of local authority changes including elected leaders, localizing police forces, and giving more authority to local councils, including in the distribution of some tax revenues. SCER neutrality has been a perennial source of contention for the JMP – Saleh seems to be willing to move slightly, offering to appoint only half its members…the others must be nominated by the Higher Judiciary Council (neutral, I am sure.) The much talked about – yet never realized – 15% quota for women in the Parliament is also in here. This issue got a lot of press coverage in Yemen a few years ago without result.

The vast majority of these proposals are doable in my estimation – whether the motivation is there to put them through is another matter. We also don’t know what the GPC wants for these concessions. Is it just an attempt to keep the JMP from capitalizing on anti-regime sentiment, or something more. Don’t be surprised to see something from the opposition to the effect that these reforms don’t go far enough. Interestingly, I still don’t see anything about local elections for governors as romored before. – President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday met with representatives of political parties and organisations upon the call he extended to them on Saturday for an open meeting to discuss the national issues.In the meeting president Saleh proposed an initiative of ten suggestions pertaining to constitutional amendments aimed at developing the political system so that he would be a president for five years tenure in addition to formation of the legislative power from two chambers and elections every four years.

The draft amendments included changing the term of local authority to the local rule and the head of local rule should be elected by the electorate in accordance with the law. The council of the local rule should have powers determined by the law and a decision issued by the president for naming the local rule’s elected heads and that system applies to the districts and according to the law.
In addition to that the local taxes and revenues with being the specialization of the local councils that would allocate them for implementation of projects and running works within the local sphere according to the law and directions of the general plans. The law would determine what is considered as central sovereign taxes as well as the revenues and oil, gas and mineral wealth and other riches.Proposals of the constitutional amendments included also that the supreme commission for elections is to be formed pursuant to nomination of the Higher Judiciary Council of 14 persons of judges characterized by efficiency and decency, seven of them to be chosen by the president of the republic under a presidential decree. In performing its work the commission would be impartial, and independent and in accordance with the constitution.

The president’s proposals also included allotment of 15% portion for the woman in the area of elections for membership of parliament and that should be stipulated in the election law. One of the proposed amendments is the formation of local police force in the governorates and there would be general central security representing all the governorates just like the army that would be sovereign and represents the whole homeland and this should be organised by a law. – AM.N


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