Questions over presidential election date
SANA’A – Vice President Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi denied any possible delay of next month’s presidential elections, due to take place on February 21.
This followed comments by Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, made during the cabinet’s Gulf tour to lobby support for Yemen.
“I hope the elections will take place on time but unfortunately there are some risks concerning security and if these security challenges and flaws are not dealt with – which is the responsibility of the national coalition government in coordination with the other political parties – it will be difficult to have the elections on February 21,” he said in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV channel. However, Hadi’s office denied any delay, emphasizing the importance of having the elections on time, saying it was a necessity for all Yemenis. The February 21 elections will take place on time regardless or any circumstances, it said.
However, Abdulhafeedh Al-Nahari deputy media spokesperson of the General People’s Congress party, which the foreign minister belongs to, said that although timely elections was a priority, the Foreign Minister’s comments were based on reality and should be considered as a red flag.
“The security situation is getting worse and this is based on the lack of seriousness of the Joint Meeting Parties who are in control of the Ministry of Interior,” he said.
“They are using the youth to escalate their violent protests and the conflict-inciting speech remains.”
A source at the GPC, who wished to remain anonymous, said there are plans to postpone the presidential elections to May 22 – unification day for north and south Yemen.
“The GPC block in the parliament is going to present this recommended date within the coming few days if the security situation remains the same,’’ he said.
Mohammed Abu Luhoom, President of the Justice and Construction opposition party, said it is not wise to postpone the elections and that this will “make the current crisis worse”. It “totally contradicts the Gulf initiative and will delay the country’s stability,” he added.