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Amidst Calls for Boycotting Elections; Al-Eryani Delegated to Negotiate with JMP

  Written By: Hasan Al-Zaidi ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
October 27, 2008



President Ali Abdullah Saleh's Advisor on Political Affairs Abdul Karim Al-Eryani has not yet announced the start of negotiations with opposition parties represented in Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) though he was officially delegated by Saleh to initiate dialogue with them.

Al-Eryani and JMP will negotiate several points relating to the elections law as well as the formation of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) as the ruling party seeks to add two more members to the already nine-member commission.

The two new members are supposed to be selected by the JMP and the National Council for Opposition (NCO). Further, both sides will discuss forming field committees whose tasks are to add and revise voters' register.

After the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC) and JMP failed to reach an agreement over the amendments of elections law as well forming the SCER, the ruling party announced forming the SCER from the former members and forming field committees from education sector employees.

It is expected that both sides will discuss now forming the special committees that will run the voting process as was the case during 2006 presidential and local elections. 

This move comes after JMP announced their rejection to any approach that adopts power and political violence, hinting that any measures taken by the ruling party are illegitimate, including the formation of the SCER and electoral committees.

The JMP also warned against confiscating the whole electoral process through committees that lack in all political, constitutional and legal legitimacy, calling its bases around the country to boycott the formed field committees. It also called for organizing demonstrations against using power and reality-forcing policies.

Islah Party Secretary General  and member of the Supreme Council of JMP Abdul Wahab Al-Anesi pointed out that opposition parties will spare no effort to improve the conditions for joining the elections.

He went on to say that they will continue until they reach a closed path with the ruling party, stressing they will work with the law spirit. He also assured that elections are the gate for comprehensive political reforms.

In his interview with the Egyptian TV, President Saleh emphasized that the one who boycotts the elections will be the loser, hinting that the ruling party welcomes the participation of all parties.

Saleh added that opposition parties can boycott elections once they wish to do so, saying that this comes under the political and democratic right ensured by the constitution.

He further mentioned that opposition's boycott of elections, if it happens, will never harm the electoral process.