Yemen Elections: Better the President You Know? Presidential Elections Are Due to Take Place in Yemen This September. While President Ali Abdullah Saleh Has Declared That He Will Not Be Running for Re-Election, and His Party Is Threatening to Boycott the Process If He Does Not, Is There Any Viable Alternative Currently Available? Eamon Gearon Reports from Sana'a

By Gearon, Eamonn | The Middle East, June 2006 | Go to article overview

Yemen Elections: Better the President You Know? Presidential Elections Are Due to Take Place in Yemen This September. While President Ali Abdullah Saleh Has Declared That He Will Not Be Running for Re-Election, and His Party Is Threatening to Boycott the Process If He Does Not, Is There Any Viable Alternative Currently Available? Eamon Gearon Reports from Sana'a


Gearon, Eamonn, The Middle East


ON 17 JULY 2005, President Saleh, a man many believed would like to reign until the end of his days, declared that he would not be standing for re-election in the September 2006 presidential election. Later that same month, the government declared an end to fuel subsidies, which led to three days of rioting across the country. As a result of this unrest, the President intimated that he would stand for re-election in the interests of national stability. However, at the time of writing Saleh continues to say he will not be taking part in the elections, which are now only a few months away.

President Saleh's announcement was made during a speech celebrating his having been in power for 27 years. While greatly surprised by the proclamation, the majority of local and foreign observers were initially sceptical as to its veracity. Yemen's newspaper editors were especially suspicious, remaining cautious about penning any leaders that might have come back to haunt them. The prospect of genuinely free elections and a future without a President who has led a united Yemen since independence, and the country's north even longer, seemed too incredible to be true.

President Saleh became the ruler of the northern, now defunct, state of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1978, following the assassination of the previous two presidents within a year of each other. Although at the time it was not thought that he would survive more than a few months, he confounded general opinion by remaining both alive and head of state. When the Yemen Arab Republic joined with the former socialist south in 1990, creating the Republic of Yemen, Saleh was appointed President of the newly unified state. In 1998, when the country held its first democratic election, Saleh took a remarkable 98% of the vote, in an election where he ran against a largely unknown member of his own party. The result made Saleh the first popularly-elected president on the Arabian Peninsula.

This impressive result was perhaps aided by the fact that the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) was prohibited from fielding a candidate, leading them to boycott the whole process, which they declared a charade. Today, the Islah (Reconstruction) party remains the main opposition, such as it is. For the 1998 contest they chose not to field a candidate of their own, preferring to nominate Saleh for re-election, which they did even before his own party, the General People's Congress (GPC), managed to.

Since national unification, Saleh has quelled a relatively minor civil war in 1994, increased the single presidential term in office from 5 to 7 years and appointed a large number of his most loyal family members to positions of influence nationwide, including heads of both the armed forces and internal security. In spite of this, the 63-year-old's grip on the country as a whole is often questioned. Perhaps the President isn't overly bothered as to whether or not he enjoys any real support across the country, especially in those more mountainous areas where tribal loyalty comes first and last. If he decides to run the September 2006 election and retires after serving a full term in 2013, (a Saleh victory is a certainty if he does run) he will have been head of state for a total of 35 years.

Following Saleh's shock July 2005 announcement, and just as Yemenis were beginning to imagine the possibility of genuinely free elections, there was another announcement that created an even greater reaction. On 19 July, the government announced that subsidies on both petrol and diesel would be terminated from midnight that same day. Literally overnight, the price of petrol nearly doubled and diesel tripled in price. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Yemen Elections: Better the President You Know? Presidential Elections Are Due to Take Place in Yemen This September. While President Ali Abdullah Saleh Has Declared That He Will Not Be Running for Re-Election, and His Party Is Threatening to Boycott the Process If He Does Not, Is There Any Viable Alternative Currently Available? Eamon Gearon Reports from Sana'a
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.