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Yemeni protesters organise transitional council

Anti-government protests in Yemen have grown in size during the past few weeks. [Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters]

Anti-government protests in Yemen have grown in size during the past few weeks. [Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters]

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Yemeni protest leaders announced the formation of a shadow transitional government to run the country if the current government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh collapses or surrenders authority.

The Preparatory Committee of the Youth Peaceful Revolution Council in Yemen announced at a press conference Saturday (July 16th) in Change Square in Sanaa, that it was forming a 17-member transitional presidential council. Opposition leaders said the transitional council would assume leadership for no longer than nine months after its first meeting.

The preparatory committee will be charged with forming a transitional National Assembly to assume legislative and regulatory functions, draft a new constitution for the country, and moderate a national dialogue to find a solution to issues in southern Yemen and Saada. The assembly will consist of 501 members whose names will be announced at a later date.

The list of transitional council members included a number of Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) leaders including the president of the National Dialogue Preparatory Committee Mohamed Salem Bassandawa, member of the Supreme Council of the JMP Mohammed Abdul-Malik al-Mutawakkil, head of the Socialist Party bloc in parliament Aidarous al-Naqeeb, and vice-president of the National Dialogue Preparatory Committee Sakhr al-Wajih.

The list also included opposition figures residing outside Yemen, namely the former president of South Yemen, Ali Nasser Muhammad, and the first prime minister of united Yemen, Haidar al-Attas.

The list included one woman, Houriya Mashhour, former deputy director of the Women's National Commission.

The preparatory committee also selected Major General Abdullah Ali Elewa as Commander of the Armed Forces and Judge Fahim Abdullah Mohsen as chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, to manage the country's affairs.

Some individuals named to the council said they were not aware of it, adding they heard about it through the media. Among them is Mohsen, who told Al-Shorfa, "I am a judge, and political conflicts are not my concern."

Al-Mutawakkil, whose name was included on the transitional council list, told Al-Shorfa he learned of the initiative one hour before it was announced. He had encouraged the young activists to make it and had called on the JMP to form the council four months ago.

"It is a good initiative and should be studied and developed by all the groups in the various squares, even by the JMP," he said, adding he believes the council could apply pressure on the government and the opposition to agree on a political solution that rebuilds the country according to principles that provide for equal rights and freedoms.

Sultan al-Atawani, a JMP leader, told Al-Shorfa, "The JMP is studying the preparatory committee's Transitional Council formation initiative and needs to develop the concept until a national consensus is reached among [protesters] in the squares and the opposition, at home and abroad."

The young demonstrators in Change Square welcomed the transitional council but emphasised it is imperative that the council obtain consent from all youth groups in the squares.

Fahd al-Muneifi, a member of the Organising Committee of the Youth Revolution, told Al-Shorfa, "The formation of a transitional council by one of the blocs is a good gesture, and it is being considered. It must have the consent of all revolutionary blocs in Change Square in Sanaa and in freedom squares in all provinces as well as the support of our political partners," referring to the JMP opposition bloc.

Tariq al-Shami, the official spokesman for the ruling Congress Party, described the initiative as an "unconstitutional and illegitimate process."

"A political solution guaranteeing Yemen's emergence from its predicament can only be achieved through the constitution because Yemen is a democratic country and any change must come through the ballot box," he said.

Twelve revolutionary youth coalitions in Change Square in Sanaa announced in a joint statement Sunday their rejection of the transitional presidential council. The coalitions said the council does not represent all elements of the revolution.

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    zuzaa

    2011-8-31

    Forming a transitional council for the revolutionaries in Yemen is a good idea, but there should be no personal interests or deviation from what is required. There should be a systematic work in accordance with democracy and freedom for the interest of the Yemeni people. It should work according to studied and correct plans which are free of any violence, or any acts that may result in the death of innocent people. It should work according to systems and the policy of opinions, and we should agree on all that is executed in terms of solutions and agreements. Those working people in this council are competent people, and they deserve to represent the Yemeni people in an honest and fair way. They should work on solving all the problems and demands of the Yemeni people, even in a simplified and partial way for the Yemeni people who doesn’t know to whom they should resort, or demand their rights from. The forming of a transitional council for the revolutionaries in Yemen is considered to be a good thing.

  • رحيم

    2011-8-31

    There should be cooperation between the people in Yemen, in order to get rid of the al-Qaeda organization, and to prevent it from broadening its base in Yemen, from buying the conscience of the people and distorting the image of Islam, and from killing the Yemenis and shedding their blood, God forbid.

  • قائد

    2011-8-26

    After the launch of the Yemeni revolution that demanded the fall of the ruling regime in Al-Yemen, I believe that the idea of forming a transitional council is one of the urgent necessities in Yemen. A lot of the categories of the Yemeni people, with its women, men and youth, participated in the revolution of change. In addition to that, this revolution was not limited to just the children of the Yemeni Capital Sana’a, but it extended to include the rest of the Yemeni governorates that had started to demand change, and freedom and democracy. The spread of these demonstrations and allies throughout all the Yemeni governorates requires common coordination between all the categories, parties and regions where these demonstrations are launched from, in order to unite the efforts between the different parties which demand change. For all of that, I believe that forming a transitional council will take in charge the administration of the affairs of the change revolution, till God grants it success. So, coordinating the situation will be one of the tasks of this council, to which the leaders of the revolutions will contribute from all the Yemeni governorates, to let all the efforts unite to bring about the success of this revolution. In addition to that, this council will be the legitimate representative of the revolution in all the international forums, and this will work in keeping this revolution from being wasted or being exploited by some.

  • زياد

    2011-8-26

    I support the formation of the transitional council which will be responsible for leading the Yemeni revolution and managing its affairs. This blessed revolution really needs a leader who will take the initiative in leading the revolutionists and protesters and coordinating situations between them. I believe that the Yemeni people are in a dire need for the formation of this council which will represent the Yemeni revolution in all parts of Yemen and be the voice which expresses the demands of the protesters, the supporters of the change revolution in Yemen and the sole legitimate negotiator for it. In my opinion, the establishment of a transitional council in Yemen, as happened in Libya, will have a lot of positive effects on this revolution, which we hope will be successful and will achieve the legitimate demands of the Yemeni people through this blessed popular revolution.

  • ريان زهير

    2011-8-23

    After the launch of the Yemeni revolution that demands the fall of the ruling regime in Al-Yemen, I believe that the idea of forming a transitional council is one of the urgent necessities in Al-Yemen. A lot of the categories of the Yemeni people, with its women, men and youth, participated in the change revolution. In addition to that, this revolution was not limited to just the children of the Yemeni Capital Sana’a, but it extended to include the rest of the Yemeni governorates that had started to demand change, and to get freedom and democracy. The spread of these demonstrations and allies in all the Yemeni governorates requires common coordination between all the categories, parties and regions where these demonstrations are launched from, in order to unite the efforts between the different parties which demand change. For all of that, I believe that forming a transitional council will take in charge the administration of the affairs of the change revolution, till God grants it success. So, coordinating the situation will be one of the tasks of this council, to which the leaders of the revolutions will contribute from all the Yemeni governorates, to let all the efforts unite to bring about the success of this revolution. In addition to that, this council will be the legitimate representative of the revolution in all the international forms, and this will work in keeping this revolution from being wasted or being exploited by some.

  • tatoo

    2011-8-23

    I support the formation of the transitional council which will be responsible for leading the Yemeni revolution and managing its affairs. This blessed revolution really needs a leader who will take the initiative in leading the revolutionists and protesters and coordinating situations between them. I believe that the Yemeni people are in a dire need for the formation of this assembly which will represent the Yemeni revolution in all parts of Yemen and be the voice which expresses the demands of the protesters, the supporters of the change revolution in Yemen and the sole legitimate negotiator for it. In my opinion, the establishment of a transitional assembly in Yemen, as happened in Libya, will have a lot of positive effects on this revolution, which we hope will be successful and will achieve the legitimate demands of the Yemeni people through this blessed popular revolution.

  • جوني

    2011-8-17

    Forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen is very necessary, in order to work on solving all the problems that face Yemeni protesters who reject the presence of the current government. Therefore, forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen is inevitable, so that there would be representatives of the persecuted Yemenis to work on restoring all their rights and providing services to them and cooperating with them. Therefore, I am in favor of forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen, to help and assist the Yemenis, who call for their stolen rights, and to get rid of all the signs of poverty, hunger, oppression, corruption and the unemployment that is widespread in Yemen.

  • jaber

    2011-8-17

    Thank God for making the popular revolution in Yemen a success to get rid of the unjust and underdeveloped regime which was led by Ali Abdullah Saleh. I would like to salute all the brave Yemeni citizens who participated in the revolution, and to praise the formation of an Interim Council in Yemen. The latter is intended to lead the country temporarily until official and democratic elections are held, to choose a president and a government for the country. In fact, the formation of the Interim Council has totally ended the legitimacy of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and liberated Yemen. It serves as a final announcement of the revolution’s success. Thus, everyone must recognize this Interim Council and deal with it as the current official power in the country. In fact, after long suffering, big sacrifices and procrastination from the unjust and backward regime, the dream has come true, thank God. The regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh has been overthrown and this Council and its members must lead the country to the safe side and preserve it with all their strength and determination until democratic elections are held in the country. In addition, no one among them should be thirsty for a position or power or manipulating the fate of Yemen. Thus, the Council’s members must be from the opposition who are known for their patriotism and belonging to this land, so that the country and its people will be safe during such a period.

  • نشأت فادي

    2011-8-16

    Forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen is very necessary, in order to work on solving all the problems that face Yemeni protesters who reject the presence of the current government. Therefore, forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen is inevitable, so that there would be representatives of the persecuted Yemenis to work on restoring all their rights and providing services to them and cooperating with them. Therefore, I am in favor of forming a revolutionary transitional council in Yemen, to help and assist the Yemenis, who call for their stolen rights, and to get rid of all the signs of poverty, hunger, oppression, corruption and the unemployment that is widespread in Yemen.

  • سامر

    2011-8-14

    The revolt in Yemen is one of the greatest and the most prestigious revolutions, and the criminal acts that happened during the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh are many. They resulted in Yemen becoming one of the poorest Arab countries, and the economic situation there went from bad to worse. Thank God, the Yemeni heroes got rid of the tyrant who was ruling them. However, one problem remained after the regime went away and had been eliminated. That is terrorism and the terrorists from the al-Qaeda organization. They stayed in the city and they exploited the chance to commit their dirty criminal acts, and a lot of families left the city and went to the countryside in order to get away from the difficult situations that are prevailing in Yemen. Al-Qaeda is more concentrated in southern Yemen, but there is clear cooperation between the army and the Yemeni people. They have faced the terrorists, and confronted them more than once, and they imposed restrictions on them from everywhere, and after that, there is no terrorist who can do anything now. I wish from all my heart that they would stop that clash which they started, in order to protect all the tribes from the criminal acts which the cowardly al-Qaeda commits. We Arabs are proud of Yemen, as it is the first country in fighting terrorism and the terrorists from the dirty al-Qaeda organization, despite all the difficult circumstances which they are going through. For that, we should strengthen their resolve, and call them to be patient and to cooperate more and more in order to get rid of the terrorists. I call on everyone who is jealous for his country’s grace to support the army, in order to get rid of the al-Qaeda organization. Thank God we heard that a lot of al-Qaeda men from the Zangbar region in Abyan governorate have been arrested and we have been able to get rid of them. This issue calls for power and cooperation between the army and the people, and I wish with all my heart that they would stop the terrorists and get them out of their countries forever.

  • أبو البراء

    2011-8-13

    The oppressors and corrupt people over the ages never leave their chairs except through free revolutions that allow people to restore their honor and dignity. Have you ever seen an Arab leader who was removed from his position through elections?

  • يامن جسار

    2011-8-11

    The events in Yemen are really natural, since people want change and the overthrow of the corrupt and deteriorated situation in which they are currently living. The latter made Yemenis one of the poorest people on earth, deprived of their most basic living and human rights.

  • غيداء العبدالله

    2011-8-9

    Forming a transitional council of revolutionaries is one of the important things during this period, especially after the collapse of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, so that this transitional council can fill the political vacuum created by the change of the political regime. This is so the country is not exposed to external greed, and to enable this transitional council that has been formed to make reforms during this sensitive phase that Yemen is going through, after long months of fighting between the people and the government on the one hand, and between the people and al-Qaeda on the other hand. If we go back a little in the past, we will find that the events that took place in Yemen call for a pause, because the youth of the revolution were able to achieve their main goal for which the revolution started. This goal was to overthrow the current regime for good. The youth of the revolution realized the magnitude of responsibility that falls upon their shoulders. After the success of their revolution, they didn’t leave the conditions of Yemen as they were, especially since Yemen had gone through a very tough time due to disturbances and political clashes caused by some people who demanded their legitimate constitutional rights. These rights are protected under the constitution for all citizens. Yemeni citizens have suffered for many years from oppression, persecution and deprivation, even of the most basic rights; as well as unemployment and the scarcity of resources and job opportunities. Therefore, the Yemeni people rose up and demanded their rights through the demonstrations that swept through the country from north to south and from east to west. Many victims fell because of the policy of oppression adopted by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh towards the peaceful protestors, who were unarmed, defenseless citizens. In spite of that, and even though they were persecuted, they continued protesting until the dream they had always had came true, and the current regime changed. However, the youth whose revolution succeeded didn’t abandon Yemen. They formed a transitional council before which they conducted dialogues and consultations with all stakeholders and the political parties in Yemen, so that the people become the only guardian over themselves, in order to not be exposed to tyranny and oppressive authoritarianism. As such, a new age will start when the people rule themselves. Therefore, forming a transitional council is one of the important things during this period.

  • زياد

    2011-8-9

    It is important and necessary to see that the rebels in Yemen have formed an interim council that is composed of seventeen members who will work on restoring life to Yemen once again. In fact, they were calling from the beginning for the overthrow of the regime in order to introduce a clear and explicit change in Yemen, given the great suffering which Yemenis have been afflicted with, namely oppression, injustice and tyranny. As far as I am concerned, the interim council will become the main and basic constituent in the life of Yemenis, since it will make Yemen one of the safe and stable countries. In fact, this was their objective for a long time. Therefore, they have selected a leader and a head of the judiciary among well-known names in this important group. In fact, all of us know the violent and brutal acts that occurred in Yemen during the former regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, which caused terrible conditions for the Yemenis, namely poverty, starvation and oppression. Nowadays, the Council’s first and main objective is how to reconstruct the Party in order to rebuild everything that has been destroyed in Yemen. They also want to help Yemenis become more liberated through granting them the opportunity to work and repair everything that was destroyed during the era of Saleh. May God help them achieve good things and make Yemen one of the best countries. As Arabs, we are proud of this tremendous plan that reflects the rights of the wounded Yemeni people.

  • محمود

    2011-8-9

    Oh God, May Ramadan be good for the Yemeni people, because they have suffered a lot from this crisis that brought nothing but destruction and death. My brothers, this is not good. I hope that you sit down and discuss it quietly, and God will solve the problem.

  • morrad

    2011-7-21

    It seems that the instability in Yemen does not bode well, because it will be targeted by terrorist organizations. May God protect us from what is coming.

  • احمد سمير

    2011-7-20

    I hope that there will be freedom after toppling Ali Abdullah Saleh from power and I hope we conduct official and fair elections, away from the electoral fraud and manipulation. However, this should never be at the expense of the stability and security of the country. If al-Qaeda becomes active in Yemen, it would go out of control, and the conditions of the country would be tragic and chaotic due to the bloodshed and murder on the part of those criminals, and we will need a very long time to clean Yemen of those evil terrorists.