Yemenis should participate in the upcoming presidential elections
But that was only recently when a new friend pointed out to me how participation legitimizes or delegitimizes elections. Even the agreed upon candidate needs Yemenis’ votes to put him in office legally. Without the votes, even if he is there, his legitimacy as president becomes tainted.
These elections are not about Hadi himself. They are about turning a new leaf in Yemen’s history. We need them to really put an end to the previous regime.
Imagine if, this time round, only a few hundred thousands of Yemenis went to ballot boxes to remove Saleh from power, instead of the millions that put him there in the 2006 elections. What would this say about the revolution and the transition? What message would it send out to the new president?
I used to think, since the political parties agreed on Hadi, let them put him in office. But whether I like it or not, Hadi actually is the best option now for Yemen’s transition. And as a responsible citizen, I need to be part of making it happen. It is also my right to vote as an adult Yemeni, so why should I give it up?
Imagine, when all votes are counted this time, Saleh looking at the numbers and seeing that hardly anyone went to vote him out. Imagine the smirk on his face saying to the international community: “Didn’t I tell you? Yemenis want me and would not vote for anyone else.”
I don’t want that.
I want us to go through a real transition, to get the regime off our shoulders, even if the new government is half and half, and even if the new president is from the GPC. But at least it is a coalition government with some color in it, rather than the old one party rule.
I will participate in the coming elections. A new candidate other than Hadi might even receive a majority of the votes. Who knows? Article 108 of the constitution says that at least two candidates have to run in the presidential elections for them to be approved, and already some potential candidates have voiced the will to run. Let’s see.
In all cases, when it is time, I will go and “thumb” my imprint on Yemen’s history. If you are Yemeni and older than 18, you should too.