Yemen’s president-in-waiting

Published on 19 February 2012 in News
Mohamed Bin Sallam (author)

Mohamed Bin Sallam

Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi

Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi

SANA’A — Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi used to be known as a silent man who never objected to, let alone disobeyed, any of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s orders.

This manner of managing the country resulted in the peaceful youth revolution, which began in February of 2011 and which led to Hadi becoming Yemen’s new president.

Hadi departed from the south with Ali Naser Mohamed after the January 1986 war between leaders of the Aden’s Socialist Party. He and Mohamed left for Sana’a after they suffered defeat in Aden.

In the 1994 war, Hadi sided with Saleh against the secession movement which surfaced in the same year and which, by year’s end, was aligned with Saleh. During the outgoing president’s 33-year rule, Hadi received the respect of all parties, due largely to a perception that he kept his hands clean of political and moral corruption.

Yemen’s peaceful revolution has gone through various phases and ups and downs to reach a political settlement to respond to demands for change.

The international community’s involvement as a third party in the process may at least allow people to feel safe from Saleh and his family, who showed no signs of aspiration for change.

The February 21 election will not be democratic in any philosophic sense; it is more a consensus caesarean operation to end the 33-year-long family-dictatorial period of rule. And the more votes there end up being, the more strength Hadi will possess to rule.

The over $ 48 million which has been spent to hold the election has not been wasted. There is one candidate and the result is already known, but act of voting will be akin to taking revenge against Saleh and his aides.

Hadi may represent the bridge that allows Saleh’s son, Ahmed, to ascend to power and recover his father’s rule, akin to what will likely take place in Russia, with Putin returning to office following a break.

Being overly optimistic isn’t good, but whether or not Hadi is a Trojan horse, the upcoming transitional period will be like a gas station for the coming state.

And the challenges that lie ahead in building a civil state are endless. A lack of state control, particularly in the country’s northern areas, will present significant challenges in this regard. The initial phase of state-building will be in gaining full control over Yemeni soil.

Yemen’s influential parties collectively chose Hadi as the consensus presidential candidate to rule Yemen. Starting on February 21, there will be demands that Hadi address the minimum demands of all spectrums of Yemeni society, including those in the youth movement.

The Yemeni people have decided to sell their past and purchase a future for the next generation. Included in the deal, however, will be attempts to salvage what is left of the of the state’s present structure, and the acceptance of concessions which granted immunity to murderers.

The building of a new future requires the turning of black pages and looking with bee’s eyes to bright Yemen’s horizons.

Youth in squares support Hadi

The youth at Change Squares across the country have called out for citizens to go to the ballot boxes and vote for Hadi and thereby eliminate from power those remnants of family rule that have continued to occupy several leading state posts.

At Sana’a’s Change Square, the youth have hung up posters urging anti-regime protesters to go to polling stations and vote for Hadi.