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Secretary General of the Opposing Islah Party Abdul Wahab Al-Anesi:
“JMP sent a letter to President Saleh stating that they should deal with the elections issue as a whole and the SCER is last thing to be talked about. Right from the beginning, the ruling party was concentrating on SCER formation as it wants to pass all its policies and agenda through the SCER.”
  Interviewed By: Interviewed by Al-Khaleej
  Article Date:
October 13, 2008



The Secretary General of the opposing Islah Party Abdul Wahab Al-Anesi assured that Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) do not think of boycotting the forthcoming elections due to be conducted on April 27, 2009; however, they will not participate in these elections as per the conditions and criteria wanted by the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC).

Al-Anesi also pointed out to the Emirate Al-Khaleej (the Gulf) newspaper that JMP was seeking to find a solution for the whole electoral matrix, while the ruling party was concentrating on the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER).

Interviewed by Al-Khaleej

Al-Khaleej: What have you reached through you dialogues and negotiations with the ruling party over the ongoing crisis of SCER?

Abdul Wahab Al-Anesi: There is a controversy over SCER which is given over thought by GPC. JMP sent a letter to President Saleh stating that they should deal with the elections issue as a whole and the SCER is last thing to be talked about. Right from the beginning, the ruling party was concentrating on SCER formation as it wants to pass all its policies and agenda through the SCER.

Frankly speaking, after signing the agreement of principles between the ruling party and opposition parties, built on the advises of the European Union, the ruling party started to play the same scenario it had played during the presidential elections of 2006 which is acted in procrastination. Thus, one-year dialogue went in vain.

Al-Khaleej: Don't you think that you are blamed for the crisis because you delayed the submission of your SCER candidates?

AA: Submitting the names of JMP candidates was not the core issue. We were ready to present our list the day in which the 'coup' took place.

Al-Khaleej: Where does the crisis go and are there any dialogues with the ruling party to resolve the current crisis?   

AA: The dialogue with GPC is still there; however, we are sure that the ruling party is following the scenario of the previous elections which is biting on time. The contact is from one side now and the GPC sends mediators to us to accept their offer. They offered us the posts of SCER deputy head and assistant secretary general; together with adding another one to replace the YSP ousted Mohammed Balgaith Al-Saqqaf. 

Al-Khaleej: What about Elections?

AA: Though we are convinced that conducting elections is the safest way-out for resolving the current crisis and having a better future, the issue will remain existent if there is no political breakthrough or when other crises are not treated as for corruption and judicial reform.

Al-Khaleej: Let's be more clear, will you participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections under the current circumstances?

AA: We have clearly announced our stances of this issue. For us, elections are basic and we say that shutting this door will mean the end of the multiparty system in the country, and consequently the end of legitimacy. If we say no to elections, this will mean that we are returning to a system different from the existing one. We are for participating in the elections and we will struggle and spare no efforts to keep this wide open. We do not think of boycotting; however, we can't enter elections under the conditions and laws stipulated by the authority.

Al-Khaleej: The authority says that JMP always seeks to make political deals with the ruling party?

AA: I am surprised at people who can believe such claims, because this has been proved to be nonsense. Why don't they say what these deals are? Speaking about deals is like speaking about constitution, law and the national constants which are spoken tirelessly. In reality, we are enquiring about the one who violates the constitution, laws and national constants, the one who saw the seeds of division. Is it the JMP that worked for preventing the destructive projects adopted and boasted of by the authority? For us, we are for true and real deals that benefit people provided that these deals are publicly announced.

Al-Khaleej: What is the Europeans' stance of these elections and what is their advice to you?

AA: Unlike authority, we feel that we are not making enough contacts with the European ambassadors. When we meet them, we ask them to search for the truth. Europeans are keen about conducting the elections.

Al-Khaleej: How do you see that current coalition between the ruling party and some political parties?

AA: The authority always reproduces the same means to distort the political and partisan work inside the country, but we do not want to insult anyone. Any way, it is clear that the ruling party demeans these parties that turned to be a means for spoiling the peaceful acts atmosphere.

Al-Khaleej: Why does authority accuse you of backing Houthis?

AA: The authority wanted us to play its role and to fight Houthis, so it later interferes and plays the role of mediator. This was its policy when dealing with the issue of Southern provinces as well. It is a disgraceful policy.   

Al-Khaleej: Regarding Southern Yemen issue, how do you deal with this sensitive issue especially when some call for secession?

AA: Since 1994, we dealt responsibly with the issue the post-war mood and have tried not to clash with the regime because we know that congestions still exist. The authority caused people this frustration. We have acted responsibly with the developments in southern Yemen and we achieved some successes as we have given people some hope for  a better future. We have called for a peaceful struggle through three phases: the first one is raising awareness of rights and duties, the second phase is to educate people about the peaceful means for demands and the last one is to educate them about how to extracts their rights peacefully.