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|New Elections Commission Sworn in; Opposition Members Boycott|
Hakim Almasmari ( YEMEN POST
Article Date: September 01, 2008
Appointed under a republican decree, the head and five other members of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) took the constitutional oaths before President Saleh on Saturday, while those representing the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) did not attend.
Head of the commission Khalid Al-Shareef together with Dr. Ja’afer Sa’eed Basaleh, Dr. Mohamemd Abdullah Al-Sayyani, Alawi Ali Al-Mashhour, Abdu Mohammed Al-Jannadi and Mohammed Al-Saqqaf Balghaith swore in.
However, JMP representatives Abdullah Muhsen Al-Akwa’, Saif Al-Shar’abi and Abdullah Dahan apologized. This comes after JMP refused to adopt the new amendments of elections law and SCER formation.
Addressing the commission’s members, President Saleh stressed the importance of the Supreme Commission to work with full neutrality and as one team, hinting that electoral committees should include all the political forces to ensure the success of elections.
JMP seats in SCER are still vacant though the commission started its tasks right from Saturday after delegating legal and technical affairs sector to set a schedule for revising and amending voters’ register.
This move by the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC), comes after one-year of negotiations on the election committee which involved all the political sides.
A source at the JMP Supreme Council revealed that the move will complicate the political life in the country, stressing that naming the JMP representatives in SCER is direct interference in their internal affairs.
For his part, Saleh directed a letter to JMP last Saturday in which he assured that he convinced the government and GPC to continue dialogues and make more concessions and flexibility to reach reconciliation over constitutional amendments, elections law and SCER formation.
Saleh stressed that there were no prior intentions to sideline any party from participation in the political life; however, the constant procrastination over these subjects forced parliament to act within its authorities and provide a list of nominees, especially when time is approaching.
He continued that the points agreed upon by both sides can be, under the national interest, annexed to the executive bylaw of the new-amended law.
Concerning political prisoners, Saleh asked JMP to provide lists of those prisoners, and hinted that they will order their immediate release in case they were not involved in criminal issues.
He maintained that this excludes those whose cases were looked into by judiciary because they are accused of committing sabotage and criminal acts, which consequently led to killing people and destroying public property as was the case in Al-Hashimi Square or Al-Habilin.
Further, President Saleh assured that setting crippling strategies and impossible appeasement will only lead to troubling the political life.Concluding his lengthy letter, Saleh demanded JMP leaderships to spare no effort for an active participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections, which he emphasized will be conducted in the scheduled time.