National Dialogue Conference’s share distribution decided

Published on 29 November 2012 in News
Yemen Times Staff (author)

Yemen Times Staff


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SANA’A — The shares of political parties and other groups participating in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) have finally come out. After around a week delay and UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar holding off the Security Council briefing three times, Benomar finally managed to obtain the political players consensus before proposing the seat distribution in the conference.

Before announcing the numbers to members of the Preparatory Committee for the National Dialogue Conference on Wednesday evening, he emphasized that there is no one formula that would solve this issue and there is no one solution that would please all.

The numbers give 50 percent to Yemenis from the south, 30 percent for women and 20 percent for youth. Additionally 62 seats of the participants will be allocated for President Hadi to fill in the gaps and add figures from the community as well as other entities such as marginalized, religious minorities, handicapped, artists, displaced persons, emigrants, businessmen, new parties, academics, religious leaders and so on.

“I don’t want to go to the Security Council without this issue resolved,” he said regarding the seat allocations. “They would then ask me why there is no progress and who is holding Yemen’s transition back and I would have to answer. Then instead of celebrating the one year anniversary of the GCC agreement signing, the Security Council would have taken other measures.”

The working mechanism of the NDC stipulates that there should be a 90 percent consensus before any decision is passed. According to Benomar’s suggested distribution no party or alliance has that 90 percent share.

The delay in the seats distribution was because the former regime’s General People’s Congress party was not happy that the Joint Meeting Party’s which was its equal partner in signing the GCC initiative and in the coalition’s government could get a higher representation if it was to enter the conference as independent parties and not a coalition, a decision that was already made clear by the JMP parties. However, Benomar explained that it is not mentioned anywhere in the GCC initiative or in its implementing mechanism that the JMP should enter the dialogue as a coalition and hence, it reserves the right to enter as independent parties.

Had the political players not agreed on Benomar’s solution the distribution would have become the responsibility of president Hadi.

With this major point in the preparation of the NDC resolved, it is likely that the preparatory committee conclude its work next week, hence allowing the logistical preparation of the national dialogue to start in preparation for the six-month conference to be launched as soon as possible.