There is nothing new in Yemen. Protests continue in main squares of the cities, Honorary President Saleh is still in his palace in Sana’a as has been for the last 30 thirty years. The GCC Initiative remained at a standstill; nothing has changed in Yemen. The new thing is the Yemeni Sphinxes; the Vice President Mr. Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi who had been in the shadow for decades. Finally, he has spoken expressing his complaint, in the closed room not in public, about the intervention of Honorary President Saleh and members of his family in his power to run the transitional phase through paving the way for the National Reconciliation Government to exercise its duties, and prepare for presidential elections to elect new president.
Mr. Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi was not appointed vice president to complain, but to be silent and no more than decoration. Therefore, by threatening to leave the country if the interventions in his powers are not stopped, he has just exposed himself to many risks, the main of which could be a threat of murder.
But insisting on staying in Yemen and not leaving the political arena to make way for the success of efforts to implement the GCC Initiative, under the pretense that the leadership of his ruling party demanded him to stay to lead the presidential and parliamentary elections campaign, Honorary President Saleh wanted to say that he would remain in power as long as he is alive, either as powerful or honorary president. As he reached power by force, he would not leave it except by force. He is not that kind of men who gives up easily. This is the message Saleh wants to convey for everyone these days. To leave power through the GCC Initiative or ballot boxes; this is not a Yemeni tradition at all. Either we agree or disagree with him, Saleh still have some support, and can rally supporters.
There is a story that Yemeni Honorary President was serious about leaving the country for some days or weeks to the US for treatment and recuperation. But since the US administration refused his request to obtain a visa as a president and offered him a visit visa as an ordinary citizen, Saleh rejected this and decided to stay in Yemen.
Then, Head of Human Rights Council issued a statement rejecting the immunity given to him and his aides against any prosecution as this immunity conflicts with laws of the said council. This led Saleh to change his mind and go back to square one, the pre-initiative square. Had he really wanted to abandon his position and stay in exile, he would not have left KSA back of Yemen after the completion of treatment for the injuries he had in the unsuccessful assassination attempt which targeted him.
Maneuvering to gain more and more time is the faith that Honorary President Saleh have always believed in, and he had an unprecedented successful long experience in this field. He would maneuver even if this led to the extension of the suffering of the Yemeni people because of collapse of the country’s economy, and the frustration of the people due to the long time of their uprising which is considered the longest among the Arab uprisings demanding democratic change.
We cannot anticipate the end of the situation in Yemen. All we know is that the threats of Vice President Hadi to leave the country would not give effect in terms of stopping the interventions that impede his mission in preparing for peaceful transition of power. We do not exaggerate if we said that Honorary President Saleh wants his Vice President to give up and leave the country just like other officials who preferred to resort to exile and practice opposition from abroad, such as Ali Salem al-Beidh, Abo Baker al-Attas, Abdullah al-Asnaj and many others.
Mr. Abdu Rabu does not have an army nor has he strong influent on security forces. He is neither a son of a major tribe in the country. He is merely a person with military experience which does not mean much in a country ruled by the tribe, goes in line with its orders and yield to its influence. His days, therefore, could be numbered just like those of the GCC Initiative which he tries hardy to implement.
Honorary President Saleh did not accept the GCC Initiative, let alone implementing it or committing himself to its terms even if he had signed it. What he really wants is that his regime remains in power with the manner he wanted and planed to, excluding the rule to his family, thus ensuring a quiet retirement through an honorary president’s position. We think that the US would not oppose this, nor its allies in the GCC would do. America’s interest in Yemen is restricted to fighting al Qaeda, and the current Yemeni regime meets this goal and ready to go on until the end. Also, priorities of the US is not Yemen, but Syria, Hezbollah and the sudden rise of the Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia.
Opponents of Saleh tried to take power from him through peaceful demonstrations but could not after about a year. They tried once again by power, through the explosion, and he miraculously was saved. We do not rule out that they- his opponents- may be driven by despair to an armed action at the end, which probably what Saleh wants because the balance of power is in his favor.
Briefly, we could say that the suffering of the Yemeni people would extend for longer time than imagined by many, including us. This is definitely painful by all measures, because the Yemenis are very kind and patriot. They do not deserve all this from the Arab and their League, and before this from their president.
Democracy is prohibited in Yemen, since had it been established in Yemen, it would extend to the neighbors, KSA and GCC countries, and this is a red line.