GPC Offensive – Saleh Says JMP is Learning Impaired

After a few weeks of being back on their heels, the GPC is starting to hit back with a vengeance. Weapon of choice: Saleh’s forte – political theatre.   

 Background: Saleh invited the JMP to a dialogue meeting set for last Monday – which everyone refused. The GPC reaction was to release a slew of statements and condemnations in government newspapers claiming that the JMP was practicing “political games,” and holds an “irresponsible and unjustifiable stand which expresses a narrow-minded vision and egoism.”  One statement from the National “Opposition” Council was particularly severe. Papers also reported on an internal spats between the Nasserites and Islah, including on the decision not to attend.

Once again, Saleh’s political savvy has shown through, and the opposition have been been left looking bad. The GPC did an excellent job talking this meeting up – and even had a political list of concessions ready. On the other hand, the JMP looked particularly inept. They were caught in trap when their excuse for not attending the meeting was that they felt the President wasn’t serious – then Saleh released his reform  recommendations…oops. JMP response? another weak statement questioning Saleh’s motives – claiming they are a bid to get around reform requirements.

Here, Saleh castigates the opposition for not participating in his meeting. He says “political forces” are more content to fabricate crisis and sew discord through protests, claiming they misunderstand democracy. He then goes on to say that he is still open for dialogue for the “interest of the country” – really sticking it to them. Saleh goes on to specifically attack the JMP reason for not attending the meeting, saying that such meetings need to be public and open.

After having his way with the JMP he goes on to elaborate on reforms, most importantly  elected Shura council and elected governors. If this happens, it will be huge!

Saleh finishes the speech by again taking it to the JMP, saying he has been “teaching” them democracy for 17 years and they still haven’t learned…in other news, the US is bringing no child left behind to Yemen – maybe that will help.– President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Wednesday congratulated the people of Yemen on the Yemeni Revolution of 26 September 45th Day, the 44th October 44th Day and the 30 November 40th Day, affirming that the Yemeni revolution is a humane one in the full sense of the word and one integrated revolution with one struggle of the Yemeni people and no one can separate between the September and October revolution.In his national speech to the Yemeni people on Wednesday he delivered at the War Academy on the occasion of celebrations of the Yemeni revolution days the president of the republic said celebrating the revolution days coincides with the first anniversary of the presidential and local elections in which the people of Yemen voiced their word on the 20 of September in contestant elections between the General People’s Congress (GPC) and parties of the Joint Meeting (JMP), emphasizing,” By the will of God we shall favourable of our people confidence who gave us this confidence whether regarding presidency of the state or the local councils.”President Saleh there is political forces that escape from their internal problems to fabrication of a crisis, export it to the street and instigate it in an irresponsible manner through taking advantage of the wave of sit-ins and demonstrations by retired elements of army and security officers. They have ridden the wave in a manner impeding implementation of projects and hindering investment in addition to portraying not a good image of our great people. The president considered that as mere whims in the souls of some political forces that understood democracy wrongly in that the peaceful transfer of power comes via sit-ins and demonstrations and halting the wheel of development, asserting “that is a grave mistake.”

With respect to the amendments announced on Tuesday the president said,” The president came with an initiative to the GPC and it approved it in accordance with the electoral programme and we have invited those political parties and forces for a meeting for exchanging viewpoints and the one who has an opinion on the initiative on about the amendments let him enrich it and proceed in the framework of reforming the system of the political action in the country and all parties have attended the meeting,” expressing his regret for the failure of the JMP to attend. The president confirmed that despite the absence of the JMP the door is still open and dialogue is required and they will not find ” on our part any estrangement or dispute. The interest of the country necessitates the dialogue because it is the best way for coming out of crises without resorting t other choices because other options cause disasters and rift of the national rank and in the end he people are the reference who say the decisive word.
The president emphasised that reclusion and designing policies for this nation from inside closed rooms is a wrong way and it is rather that addressing others should be through symposiums and centres and establishments.

The president said, ” The initiative of political reforms included that there will be a full presidential system. Why is it full? In our present constitution we have adopted a system grouping between the presidential system and the parliamentary system in order that there will be the biggest number of participants in this regard. But in my experience in power throughout 28 or 29 years {HA! Even he has lost count!}, if price of tomatoes rose they say it is the president, if the price of onion dropped in the market they said the president and if someone is put behind bars for not possessing a license for a gun the also say the president under the order from higher authorities. ” {What about the gas subsidies..someone needs to tell this the Bajammal this} He added that since they want it the responsibility of head then let it be a full presidential system and this president or any other president shoulders the whole responsibility before the people, to shoulder it and held accountable. He said,” If you want the parliamentary system we accept and we would not have haughtiness or obstinacy, we accept 4 years terms for the elected parliament and the shoura council and the shoura council is to be electedfrom the governorates equally regardless of the population size or the geographic area and it would be the chamber accompanying the parliament and there the law and constitution define the nature of relationship between the two chambers.” {This is good stuff}President Saleh also pointed to the success of the local experiment that encouraged the election of governors as heads of administrative units and directors of districts and to leave matters to dialogue saying “there are welcoming ones and people who are cautious and those fearing ones are the opposition.”The president considered the opposition that previously stood against the local authority as yearning to authority with totalitarian system as it is their case or situation inside their parties, ” now they propose they want a parliamentary system, let it be a parliamentary system and they have the right to submit it to dialogue and we said a presidential system and let’s seek the opinion of the people whether they want a parliamentary or presidential system.”

President Saleh said after this speech, “You will hear discordant voices and will accuse the authority. They would want a federal state and a federal government. This is nonsense, there is a united state, a central state with local rule and this is the general interest requires. “The president called the civil society organisations in Yemen to take part in the dialogue and asked the government and the general secretariat of the GPC to invite the civil society organisations in order to make them acquainted with this project, stressing that would contribute to expand participation in the dialogue for managing affairs of the country.
President Saleh also indicated the adoption by the government of YR 276 billion as additional appropriation for the development and investment as well as encouragement of investments in areas of oil and distribution of gas and oil and minerals blocks, the fish wealth, tourism, agriculture and industry and should be fast and take the initiative to offer facilities to local and foreign investors.

He has also attracted the attention to solving demands of the retired and the problem of plots of land, describing those promoting the wicked and misleading call from those arousing tumult in the street, claiming there is seizure of others’ lands in the southern governorates by their brothers from northern governorates as null and void allegation and impudent as well as mere lies. He indicated that the vice president has solved them in a legal way far from noise of the opposition that he described as they are riding waves of others and that they do not know what is going on in the street because they live in closed rooms. {I love this quote}

The president addressed in his speech the opposition parties the (JMP) saying,” We have been teaching you democracy for 17 years and you did not lean. If we were in the opposition instead of you we would have gained the street,” calling them to practice opposition with order and commitment.  {Ouch!}


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