Many Yemenis think that their country is not in need of a new constitution during the next two years, but it only needs some in-depth amendments to a number of issues that meet the revolutionary youths' needs and guarantee a strong basis for a civil state that observes good governance, rule of law, social justice extension and enhancement of freedom and equality.
However the final decision regarding the constitution will be determined through the national dialogue during the next period. No one believes that there would be any substantial changes in the first and second Chapters of the current constitution.
The changes will be focused on the other chapters contingent on the legislative, executive, judicial and local chapters.
The dialogue will be focused on the landmarks of the civil state that meets the aspirations of millions of Yemenis who suffered from chaos and military systems that are allied with regionalism and tribalism which used to believe that the rule of law will disrupt its continuation in power.
There are prevailing concepts among some sectors that the civil state is equivalent to the secular state. This creates anxiety to these sectors, though the youth in the Islah party, the biggest Islamic Yemeni movement, are on the forefront of those who call for the civil state and they surely don't mean the secular state.
It is sure that only a small number of those who call for secularism don't call overtly for it, though it is their right to do so, however any serious dialogue between the concerned parties could be able to come to common grounds on these critical issues which lead to an (Islamic secularism) that doesn't harm the Islamic Sharia' as a source for all legislations, as it is currently stated and doesn't harm the general personal freedoms and doesn't breach them.
In the sense that no entity, such as religious scholars should have exceptional powers in the name of religion on the citizens or their personal freedoms, as it is the case with the countries that have bodies of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, whereas their methods lead to the contrary by clinging to vice and avoiding virtue due to their oppressions against people in a savage way that contradicts the purposes of the Sharia' law.
The focus is now on the concept of the civil state as a state that is governed by a law that treats all citizens as equal. It is not as well ruled by soldiers and no prevalence to any exceptional power of influential social forces that the people have experienced through the past five decades.
These are the bases for the civil state that is required by the revolutionary youth who took to streets for it and wouldn't return before it becomes explicit provisions in the constitution and a reality that they live, enjoying security and stability under its umbrella.
The youth know that the achievement of the civil state is surrounded with risks, in light of the temperaments and the disputes that are left behind by Saleh's regime.
It is hard for the soldiers who used to practice power from their barracks, to be in accord with the new system that requires them to abandon politics to politicians and abide by their natural constitutional role of defending the country's sovereignty from external offense and not to protect the constitutional legitimacy as the former regime used to circulate.
The former regime has surrounded the capital Sana'a and most of the towns with military camps under pretext of protecting the constitutional legitimacy. This matter is no longer needed because of the end of the family project with all its constituents in terms of the extension and succession agendas, because the legitimacy is now protected by the people's awareness as it is the case in the western democracies.
During President Saleh's era only the loyal military leaders are allowed to practice politics, and this problem is overcome by the early presidential elections and that is why the new constitution's provisions should be explicit in preventing the Presidents and prime ministers from coming directly from military positions.
They should be military retirees for at least ten years before they are allowed to be nominated to any senior position, including the presidential council, the parliament and the Shora council.
There is an issue that is linked to a symbolic constitutional position, which is the Supreme Leader of the Armed Forces, which is formerly linked to the President. As it is known all over the world this position is associated with the head of state even if it is nominal like that of the British Queen or executive as the head of the United States, but does not result in the direct intervention of its administration. It should be through his position as the commander of the state and not as the high army commander.
The association between the two positions in the west is for rare cases such as the declaration of war, however it had been employed in President Saleh's period for the circumvention of the Minister of defense's post, creating departments and offices for it that undertake the real administration of the army, which is contrary to the constitution that makes the government the high executive power in the country.
This requires that the new constitution should determine this point and ensures that this position is nominal, and should not issue resolutions, so that it would not penetrate the structure of the expected civil state. It should not give an impression that the first man in the state should be from the military institution.
This requires that the draft of the civil state's constitution should end the power of the executive authority on the judiciary, from both the President or the Prime Minister. The Judges should exploit this historic opportunity of the most important change in Yemen, and adopt constitutional provisions that end any manipulation over them and translate it into legal texts that offer them entire independence. This will show the seriousness of the different forces in liberating the constitution from the social interests and influence and any other sort of party domination as well as the influences that used to control it in previous periods.
The civil state's project will precede with the retreat of the tribal role. The role of the state that implements the rule of the law will advance instead of traditions. The persecution and oppression that is practiced by the tribal sheikhs on their people will give place to justice and equity, with no oppression by the sheikhs on their flocks and no extortion by the flocks on their leaders. The activation of political parties among the tribes will minimize the tribal fanaticism. The spread of education and cultural activity will help integrating the tribes into the civil state and deep-root the legal concepts instead of resorting to the unjust judgments most of the time.