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|Negotiations between Ruling Party and Opposition Resume; Probable Postponement of Elections|
Abdul Rahim Al-Shawthabi
Article Date: December 29, 2008
Informed sources revealed that a series of meetings are expected to be held over the coming days involving the leaders of the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC) and opposition Parties represented in Joint Meeting Parties (JMP).
This comes following a meeting that involved President Saleh's advisor on political affairs Abdul Karim Al-Eryani and some leaders of opposition as the meeting is held in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections due to be conducted next April.
Sources indicated that there have been several sessions of dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition and further President Saleh met with some opposition leaders and explored the different solutions to the election crisis. Some were critical because civil society organizations were partnered in the process.
Head of GPC Media Circle Tareq Al-Shami disclosed that nine ministers had resigned from their ministerial post to compete in the forthcoming elections. Similar resignations were submitted by deputy ministers, governors and high ranking officials pursuant to the elections law which requires the candidate to give up their official posts during candidacy period.
The respective authority at the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) received resignations from the Deputy Prime Minister for Security and Defense Affairs Rashad Al-Alimi, Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs Sadeq Ameen Abu Ras, Minister of Civil Service and Insurances Yahya Al-Shua'ibi, Minister of State and Sana'a Mayor Abdul Rahman Al-Akwa' and Minister of State for the Affairs of Shoura and Parliament Councils Ahmed Al-Kuhlani.
It also received resignation letters from the Minister of Agriculture Mansour Al-Houshabi, Minister of Electricity Awad Al-Soqotri and Minister of Youth and Sport Hamoud Ubad and Minister of Legal Affairs Rashad Ahmed Al-Rasas.
Al-Shami considered this move to be an indication of GPC seriousness to create an effective legislative authority with experienced and qualified elements so that they can practice their legislative rights and control role, hinting that his party will also choose qualified and competent women to run for elections.
He also told Al-Nas Newspaper that elections is a constitutional entitlement and it is the property of people and not the political parties and emphasized that GPC will not link the fate of the country to the interest of three of four parties.Further, Al-Shami noted that his party is keen about the political participation of all parties stressing that if a crisis truly exists then it is within the opposition parties. He affirmed that there are channels of communication between the ruling party and the opposition.