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Tasks and hindrances to Yemeni reconciliation government
Writes/ yemen fox
Published Since: Tow Years and 9 Months
Saturday 17 December 2011 02:38 am

The National Reconciliation government announced on December 7m 2011, is considered to be the most important one in the contemporary Yemeni history, because of several factors that govern the task of this government. Technically, it is the first government that is formed by equal shares, between the ruling party and its allies and the National Council and its partners. The seats were distributed equally at a rate of 17 ministries to each party, where the sovereign ministries according the GCC initiative which stipulates that one party prepares the two lists each containing 17 ministries while the other party chooses one of them.

Distinctiveness in control and functions

This is also the first government that works outside the constitution, as the GCC has stipulated suspending the constitution for 90 days in which free presidential elections are to be held for choosing a consensus president, who would be the first Vice President (VP) Abdurabo Mansur Hadi. No one of the parties should nominate another candidate according to the initiative.

It is also the first government that should be under intensive local and international observation, because the government is formed under the Security Council resolution number 2014. It states in one of its provisions the need for signing the initiative, where two operation chambers were formed for the monitoring of the implementation of the initiative. The first chamber is based in the Riyadh, Sana'a embassy and the other one which represents the SC permanent members is based in Moscow's embassy.

The first tasks of the reconciliation government , headed by the opposition figure and veteran politician Mohammed Salem Ba Sandwa is to defuse civil war, which Saleh's regime had sought to ignite , through temptation, intimidation and the purchase of mouths and hands. War had broke out in Sana'a, Taiz and Abyan,  the regime has used in all sorts of weapons against the rebels , including warplanes and artillery shelling.

It was only controlled by the international community and the draft resolutions prepared by France, Germany and Britain, in addition to the General Secretary Ban Ki-moon's calls, which pointed out clearly to President Saleh, on the eve of the initiative's signature, that the international community will take actions against him if he doesn't sign. The sanctions that Ki-moon mentioned included  his assets as well his family's assets, preventing his travels and sending his file to the International Criminal Court.

Added to these pressures are other two factors, including the continuous public pressure in 17 governorates, demanding the departure and trial of the regime and its symbols, and the continuous collapses in the republican guard, which is the force that Saleh was depending on to settle matters in his favor. These finally represented factors that caused President Saleh to sign the GCC initiative and its operational mechanisms in Riyadh on November 23.

The ruling General People's Congress (PGC) and lack of skilled professionals
In a preliminary reading to the National Reconciliation government it could be noted that the GPC has failed to surprise the local community with the choice of highly efficient ministers, with previous experience, or to provide a number of faces from the new generation, which the President has often urged them to form their own political party.

 The formation of the 17 portfolio government, which he has given only two to his allies, and kept the others to himself, he give the Tourism portfolio to Gasem Sallam, General Ba'ath Party General Secretary, who is pro-Sadam. He is a man in his seventies. The other portfolio,   a state ministry, which is not a real ministry, had been given to the Democratic Nasserites,

The GPC has left the five ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Endowments, Public Works and Social Affairs and Labor in their posts. It also has transferred three other ministers to other ministries. It appointed nine ministers for the first time, where the Assistant GPC Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Bin Daghar , who is specialized in political history, has been appointed as Minister of Information Technology,

Engineer Farid Mujawar, from Haja Governorate has been appointed as Minister of Agriculture. The Expatriates Ministry has been given to the tribal Sheikh, Brigadier Mujahid al-Guhali. Mu'mar al-Iriani and Nabil Shamsan have respectively undertaken posts of Ministries of Spots and Civil Service, where they had been leaders in these ministers.
The GPC has lacked qualitative diversity within his cabinet. The women have obtained only one seat, retaining their earlier seat of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, allocated to the professor of educational curriculum at the University of Sana'a, Dr. Amt al- Razaq Humad. It also failed to placate the people of the south, where it did not include in its cabinet more than five ministers who obtained portfolios of defense, telecommunications, higher education, fisheries and agriculture.

It is anticipated that the failure of the GPC to enrich its ministerial list with new highly professional faces is attributed to the wide resignations in the party and its government following the peaceful popular revolution in last February, which made the party to lose a lot of its competent members.
Formation that carries reassurance messages.
On the other hand the Yemeni opposition, represented by the National Council for Revolutionary Forces (NC) has presented a ministry that sent assurance messages to the varied local Yemeni arena as well as the international community on top of them the neighboring countries, where the regime's propaganda has circulated that the Yemeni revolution is the revolution of the Islamic extremists. It was pointing by that to the Islah party which emerged from the Brotherhood movement in Yemen, asserting that it is the real agitator of the Yemeni revolution in all its squares. 

The Islah party has however reassured all his internal partners and allayed the observers abroad by taking only two ministries which are the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. The socialist party, which comes from the south and the effective partner in achieving the unity in 1990 has obtained the three ministries of Transport, Legal Affairs and a State Minister. The pro-Syria Arabic Ba'ath, had obtained the Ministry of Vocational Education. The Ministry of Water and Environment has been given to the General Secretary of the Popular Alliance Forces Abdul-Salam Razaz. The  pro-Houthis Hassan Sharfadin, has occupied the post of a State Minister. The Ministry of Local Administration has been entrusted to the leader in the United Nasserite party.

In considering the opposition ministerial formation, which is the face of the real opposition, the JMP parties have sent significant messages in their formation, where they adopted the qualification, and impartiality measures in their lists. They haven't adopted the allocations in their ministerial distributions. They had entrusted the ministry of information to Dr. Abdullah Obal, the leader in the Unified Nasserite party which is a pro- revolutionary that has joined the JMP.

In addition to the Prime Minister's post, the opposition has entrusted 7 ministries to the independent, highly proficient pro- revolutionaries. Dr. Abdul Kader Qahtan, the Interpol commander in Sana'a has take on the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Electricity has been entrusted to Dr. Saleh Sumie', former Minister of Expatriates who dissented from the ruling PGC party. Dr. Sa'adadin Bin Taleb became Minister of Industry and Trade. He is a national figure known for stubbornness in the face of corruption, and was the first member to resign from his position of the National Supreme Anti-corruption authority, in protest of the inability to the authority to confront the corruption that is eating the resources and institutions of the state. 

Judge Murshed al-Arashani, head of the Islah charitable society, and head of the Supreme Judiciary council has become the Minister of Justice. The ministries of Information and Finance have gone to dissenting MPs from the ruling party, Ali al-Amrani and Sakhr al-Wajih. The later is known for his fighting to corruption. He heads the Yemeni Parliamentarian organization for corruption combat. The spokesperson of the NC Horia Mash-hoor has taken the Ministry of Human Rights. She is an influential person in the Yemeni women circles.

Dynamic diversity and vitality of the future.
The variation in the opposition's list points out to the dynamic future that Yemen is looking forward to. It will enable the partners to be in accord and to control the standards of the administrative process through efficiency as the foremost value.  Efficiency here does not only mean the search for the highly qualified and experienced, but it also takes into account the allocations of the political partners in the South. It also takes into account the political and independents as well as the young people in the squares, including without injustice the standards of integrity, competence and experience. The absence of representatives to the youth in the current government goes back to their refusal to the formation of the reconciliation government which is formed according to the GCC initiative , which grants immunity to President Saleh and his aides. 
The variation in the opposition's list of ministers is seen also in terms of the two seats to the women and the 7 ministers out of 17 from the southern governorates in addition to the Prime Minister.

The plight of 90 days to come.
The National Reconciliation government headed by Basandwah will face grave days within the next three months. It will be working under the eyes of the local and international community, until the Presidential elections in February 21, 2012. Basandwah's government will be suffering from the sensitivity of the period, the strain of the youth who refuse the GCC initiative, and demand the toppling of the regime and its symbols, while the forces loyal to President Saleh are still putting their hands on the trigger, ready to blow up the situation at any time.

The extreme poverty in the state budget also adds to the problems. The regime seeks to involve the government in an entanglement with the young unemployed by its announcement of the employment of 11 thousand university graduates, starting from early next year without any considerations to the situations in the ministries assumed by the opposition. The media spokesman of the Prime Minister 's office accused the    regime of the destruction of documents and property in the ministries allocated to the opposition, especially the interior and information, to hinder the success of the Government of Basandwah, because success means in the regime's eyes the opposition's success.

There is no way out for Saleh to come back to power other than getting rid of his VP, by all means, or the frustration of the National Reconciliation government by fabricating employment crisis, crisis of the oil derivatives, electricity outages and to face the change squares with excessive force so as to blame the Ministry of Interior, which is in the hands of the opposition. This means prolonging the stay of Saleh in the presidential palace, even without powers.

 What is desired now is that the internal partners should live to their national responsibility by intensifying the international monitoring on the performance of the reconciliation government and to observe any violations and hindrance to its progress, as well as working in a team spirit, so as to take Yemen out of the bottle neck, especially that Prime Minister Basandwah is a resilient man who is free of ideological dogma.
Aref Hatem
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