Despite the mode of optimism among international entities sponsoring the GCC initiative that President Hadi's decision - forming the preparatory committee for the national dialogue conference - could help start implanting desirable positives of the second transitional stage of the agreement, this decision has sparked wide protests threatening the return of Yemen's crisis parties to conflict. It created a great split among the social and political forces and the components of the revolution, not to mention its failure in convincing the Yemeni people on the street and political forces of its ability to solve the Yemeni crisis.
There is a wide belief that the resolution that President Hadi issue earlier this week, was an international plan that is formulated by the UNSC envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omer, following the consultation sessions that he had made with the crisis parties, gulf and international brokers, and passed it to President Hadi as a ready document that is not subject to amendment, addition or omission, so as to be issued by him in a form of a presidential decree that is granted the power of the constitution.
The Yemeni had been waiting for this step to inaugurate within consensus mechanisms that will accommodate the crisis complications and the demands of the political forces, however it was a surprise to all that it ignored a great deal of the boisterous political aspects in the Yemeni arena.
The Yemeni President endorsed the international plan for the national dialogue conference in accordance with the Yemeni constitution, the GCC initiative and the two resolutions of Security Council number 2014 and 2051, which stipulate the formation of a preparatory committee consisting of 25 members, representing the former regime, the opposition forces, the national council for the revolutionary forces of the revolutionary youth formations, the Southern Movement, the Houthis, the civil society organizations and independent personalities.
It includes detailed plan regarding the committee authorities and the mechanisms for the arrangements for holding the conference, the forces represented in it, the issues submitted for discussion and the resolutions required from the conference, which include the most highly sensitive and even crucial decisions.
The resolution and the plan sought to avoid the formalities of consensus as well as avoiding any attempts to affect it or delay its issue. It gave a strong evidence of the desire of the international community to continue its efforts for brokering the settlement and not to allow for any attempt to disrupt its implementation, by any of the political or social forces, regardless of the consequences or excuses.
The attitude of the political forces towards the decree seemed confused, varying from opposition, reservation and supporting, but it finally took the shape of a collective refusal to the decree amid objections that amounted to the extent of threatening to face this step by the revolutionary youth and the political forces that considered it to be a big strategic fault.
They advised reconsidering it. It is the position of the opposition parties represented by the JMP and the other political parties outside this bloc. It also included the Parliament, the civil society organizations, religious scholars and even some political forces that are represented in the government, with the exception of the representatives of the former regime, who kept silent regarding this issue, perhaps they want this step to be undermined by his opponents , so as to acquire more international support, after it became the major suspects in the attempts of thwarting the transitional process.
The Presidential decree
The last Presidential decree is the most controversial among many of the resolutions and decisions that found their way to implementation within the GCC initiative and its operational mechanisms, signed last year. They had led to the peaceful settlement of the power transition through the step down of the former president, the election of a consensus president and the formation of a transitional government.
It is the only that lacked the national consensus, as well as the serious fears that it aroused, as it is expressed by many of the parties of the political process, which spoke in one voice of their fears that it may lead to the failure of the whole political settlement.
The Decree specified the number of the Technical Committee for the preparation for the comprehensive national dialogue consisting of 25 Yemenis from both genders, representing the components of the groups that are to participate in the dialogue conference for implementation of the requirements of the GCC initiative and its operational mechanisms. It is also an implementation to the UN Security Council resolutions, 2014 and2051, which call for the organization of this conference within the framework of entitlements of the second stage of the GCC agreement.
The committee list is topped by what the decree called the National Alliance which includes the General People's Congress (GPC) and its alliance of the political parties which have little representation. It is followed by the National Council for the Revolutionary Parties, which includes the opposition parties of the JMP. It also included the constituents of the peaceful revolutionary forces, the parties and the other effective political forces in addition to the Southern Movement, the Houthis, the civil society organizations and the women sector.
According to the detailed plan drafted by the UN envoy, the most important results required from the national dialogue conference fall within the drafting of a new constitution, the establishment of the main elements of the constitutional reform, including the state structure as well as other major decisions linked to the political system and the suggestion of comprehensive just solutions to the southern issue and the different cases that are of national perspectives, including the reasons for tension in Saada.
In addition to this there should be fundamental steps for the establishment of a comprehensive democratic system, including the reform of the civil service, the judiciary, the local governance and further steps that aim at achieving a national reconciliation and transitional justice.
There should also be arrangements that guarantee the prevention of human rights abuses, and the future humanitarian law as well as adopting legal procedures that promote the protection of the week groups including the children and the necessary steps for woman advancement.
Like the attitudes of effective political forces, the official stance of the opposition parties in the JMP was cautious, dealing with the decree in a diplomatic language, when they suggested in a statement its submition to discussions at the levels of the general secretariats of the parties that are within the JMP bloc.
The opposition decided to delay their issuance to an official statement explaining its position towards the presidential decree, as they were about to issue a statement announcing their refusal to the step, and to invite President Hadi to address the negative effects of the decision in order to ensure the success of the national dialogue, because the preparation of the national dialogue should not begin with the wrong introductions that cannot can be accepted or justified.
This position which seemed to be tactical, awaiting new developments, came after reservations that had been expressed by some of the bloc's leaders. It spoke of exclusion to effective political forces from this committee. They were clearly expressed by their spokesperson, Ahmed al-Bahri, who criticized the lack of the representation of the presidential decree to opposition forces as well as its marginalization to broad national forces in Yemen.
The opposition spokesperson went to further than that by affirming that the mechanisms adopted in the formation of the committee would only not be in favor of the political process, but may disrupt the dialogue and could return the situation in the country to scratch. Some opposition forces showed fears that the formation of the preparatory committee and the groups that are allowed to participate in the conference may lead to the formation of the political alliances that Yemen had previously witnessed , and led according to them to hindering the voluntary democratic unity project, four years after the declaration of the unity.
The Yemeni scene saw some radical positions expressed by religious scholars, revolutionary youths and some wide political and social sectors, which have voiced rejection to the presidential decree, spreading concern of the derail of the national dialogue conference into a bumpy road . Some disclosed that if this step happened under this atmosphere, it will lead to worsening the situation in Yemen and returning it to square one.
The most opposing positions, went beyond the presidential decree of the national dialogue to refuse holding it in an atmosphere lacking trust in light of the split of the armed forces, the security disorders in more than one side. Some politicians emphasized that proceeding with national conference under the ignorance of the political forces and the revolutionary youth demands for starting a plan for the army and security restructure that constrict the influence of the former regime in these institutions, is a great risk that may lead the country into a series of endless crisis and conflicts.
The positions that come next to those opposing the presidential decree, are the reservations of most of the political forces over the lack of just representation to the political and social forces, including major parties in the JMP, scholars, tribal and army leaders that advocated the revolution, as well as political, social, economic and cultural groups, especially that the formation of the preparatory committee reflected the nature of the groups that are allowed to participate in the events of the national dialogue.
Despite the international expectations of the yielding of most of the political forces to the international plan, however these expectations turned out to be untrue, with the declaration of the revolutionary youth to a hard line stance that shifted the Yemeni street, from the atmosphere of maneuver to the direct confrontation between the change squares and the transitional President Hadi, especially after they demanded his standing beside the popular will and choices for liberating all the state-owned institutions from the family control and the unification of the decision of the military and security institutions , in order to ensure the none return of the former regime and the removal of all forms of tyranny and its symbols.
The revolutionary youth went to the extent of giving president Hadi a deadline to make curial decisions to dismiss the relatives of former President from office in military and security positions considering that any delay or procrastination is considered to be an abandonment to the obligations of the popular will
And despite the announcement of the revolutionary youth before of their rejection of the GCC initiative, but this time they made a statement containing specific demands to President Hadi and strict decisions regarding the national dialogue.
In addition to their demands for critical decisions to dismiss the relatives of the former president of the army and security institutions they asked the presidency and the government to implement all of the revolutionary youth demands contained in a medium for preparation for the national dialogue and in the forefront of these is the addressing of the issues of the martyrs, the wounded and prisoners.
They also warned the political parties and all national forces of the consequences of running after the political settlements that abandon the goals and demands of the revolution.
The vision of the opposition in the JMP, that take part in the National Reconciliation Government with half of the ministries, agrees with the revolution youth view in the fear of starting the National Dialogue Conference, amid the continuation of the division within the army and the unjustified delay of the plan to restructure it. The JMP’s view also agrees with the youth’s that the attempts of the counter-revolution did not stop since the overthrow of head of former regime.
Despite the different attitudes of the revolution youths towards the Presidential Decree the opposition forces were not absent from the youth scene. The opposition forces view seemed clearer through the demands presented by the revolution youth Organizing Committee, which is widely believed that it is controlled by the Islamic current, represented by the opposing Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah Party), the tribal forcers led by Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar and the pro-revolution military forces led by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.
Some believe that the statement of the Organizing Committee is just a copy of the position that the opposition delayed to announce, to avoid being included in the parties that hinder the settlement agreement, therefore being subject to the international sanctions stipulated in the UN Resolution 2051.
But the opposition forces, the political and revolutionary, seemed to have grasped the big challenge posed in the National Dialogue Conference, therefore they delayed the announcement of their final position. It seemed as an attempt to shuffle the cards, especially that the revolution youth put the transitional President in front of a difficult choice, after they have given him one week time to dismiss relatives of the former president’s relatives. It seems that this time was well-planned to, especially that it precedes the date of launching the work of the Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue, which was stipulated in the 24th of current month.