Yemen forms national reconciliation government

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Yemeni Vice President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced the formation of a national reconciliation government on Wednesday (December 7th) in accordance with the provisions of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) initiative that ended President Ali Abdullah Saleh's tenure.

The new government will be divided evenly between the ruling General People's Congress Party and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), led by opposition leader Mohammed Salem Basendwah. It is to be sworn in on Saturday in front of Hadi.

The government includes, in addition to its president, 34 ministers split evenly between the opposition and the ruling party and its allies.

The Congress Party will head the foreign affairs, defence, oil, communications and public work ministries, while the opposition will be in charge of the interior, finance, media and international cooperation ministries.

Five Congress Party ministers retained their posts, including Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, who will continue as foreign minister, and Gen. Mohamed Nasser Ahmed, who will continue as defence minister. Four others replaced their ministerial portfolio with another, and the eight remaining portfolios were given to first-time appointees.

The opposition side of the government has all new appointees, except Minister of Electricity Dr. Saleh Samee, who served previously as the minister of expatriates.

The new government has given three ministerial portfolios to women for the first time in the country's history. Dr. Amat al-Razzaq Hamad of the Congress Party was appointed minister of social affairs and labor, Horiya Mashhour, spokesperson for the opposition National Council of the Popular Revolution Forces, was appointed minister of human rights, and Jawhara Hammoud, assistant secretary-general of the opposition Socialist Party, was appointed as state minister for cabinet affairs.

Under the terms of the GCC initiative, Hadi assumes the executive powers of the president during the transition period, and Saleh will remain honorary president until presidential elections are held on February 21st.

Also according to the agreement, the new government has 10 days to submit its programme to the House of Representatives.

Daunting tasks

"The national reconciliation government has some daunting tasks, which include addressing the concerns of young people and their revolution in building a stable and democratic Yemen, and changing the political system to build a civil and constitutional state in which all citizens have equal rights," said Mohammed al-Sabri, official spokesman for the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue.

Al-Sabri said realisation of these demands will not be easy and will require great determination.

Abdul Hafeez al-Nahari, vice president of media relations for the Congress Party, told Al-Shorfa the national reconciliation government is charged with many important responsibilities, including paving the way for presidential elections in February.

"Getting rid of military and security tension is the first step for the government along with putting an end to all hostilities and divisions in the army, reassuring citizens and safeguarding their rights and property from any violations," he said.

Al-Nahari said stability will return if the government restores services to citizens, notably electricity and fuel.

"The government must engage in a serious dialogue with young people and act upon their vision, their projects and their aspirations to achieve social peace, as stipulated in the initiative to achieve their demands and ensure the people's demands for change and building a modern civil state."

The Youth of the Revolution, however, rejected the government, which they described as maintaining the Saleh regime with different faces.

"The government is the product of the GCC initiative, which the rebels rejected from its first draft. It provided guarantees to Saleh and his regime that protected them from trial while the rebels are demanding a trial for him and his family for crimes committed against the youth in the Change squares," said Fahd al-Muneifi, a member of the Youth Revolution Coalition in Sanaa.

The formation of a government was delayed because of demands by the JMP that a military committee be established to eliminate hostilities and pull military units back to their barracks to restore calm. Hadi responded to the demands by forming the committee last Sunday.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    خالد

    2012-1-11

    God willing, the end of the traitorous terrorists is very close. I hope that the only victims of terrorism will be terrorists themselves, because they are committing hostile and despicable crimes. God will definitely punish them. I would like to draw the attention of the cowardly Yemeni ruler to considering the dire conditions of Yemen. He should do something for those innocent people. He is a man who doesn't know God and who ignores the rights of citizens. Hopefully, Yemen will restore its past position and make progress.

  • ابراهيم علي

    2012-1-9

    I pray to God that the situation in Yemen settles down after the president steps down and hands over authority to someone else, even though he still insists on staying in power. We need this big change to serve the best interests of the Yemenis, who deserve to have their needs fulfilled. This is very important to the people of Yemen. Improving the security situation in Yemen is also very important, to regain stability in Yemen, which has witnessed many acts of violence, oppression and assault against protesters and Yemeni revolutionists, who reject the presence of Ali Abdullah Saleh. They want a drastic change in the government, because it did not make any achievements or improvements to provide services for Yemenis. Ali Abdullah Saleh stayed in power for a very long time; it is time to replace the president with a better and more efficient one, to serve the people, improve and develop Yemen and rescue the people of Yemen from displacement, poverty, hunger, corruption, unemployment, deprivation, dereliction and neglect of all human rights. These are the rights of the Yemenis; so it is very important to stabilize the situation in Yemen and to calm it down, in order to fulfill those rights and to protect the interests of everybody. We need all parties to calm down so that no violation is committed against anybody. The Yemenis are kind and simple people; they deserve goodness, because they are well-mannered. So, they should not be used or exploited because of their good qualities. We need to protect the people of Yemen and provide comfort for them. This is the duty of the government, to treat the people well and not to act like the master of the Yemenis, by using dirty, despicable, oppressive and dictatorial methods against them.

  • قحطان فارس

    2012-1-5

    Even though we pray to God that peace and security will spread all over Yemen and that the Yemenis will live in stability and safety, we see that Yemen has a lot to do to reach this important stage of peace, which everybody is anxiously waiting for. I think forming a national consensus government is part of the solution to calm down the internal situation in Yemen, but I don’t think it is the whole solution. Yemen will not witness real stability until after launching the legislative and presidential elections, so that the Yemeni internal affairs will settle. Partial solutions cannot solve all the problems of Yemen, which faces a lot of complications, especially after what we have gone through. I think the problems are very complex, and the solution is an elected legitimate government. Yet, I support the national consensus government for the time being, to save Yemen in this dangerous stage and to save the Yemenis, who have suffered a lot. Finding a partial solution is better for me than the absence of a solution. So, we hope the best for Yemen; we hope that the government of the national consensus plays the needed role in solving things, after overthrowing the dictatorial regime in Yemen that ruled for decades.

  • ليلى باحكيم

    2011-12-10

    Saleh will not leave Yemen, because he realizes that he is hated and rejected, both at home and abroad. Hence, ending the sit-ins in the squares is contingent upon the elimination of its causes. The resolutions of the US are straight and clear, unlike the Gulf Initiative. The resolution banned the killing of unarmed civilians and practicing violence against them. The government that was formed has corrupt members that would steal for the benefit of the tyrant Saleh, and their hands are stained with the blood of the martyrs. The tasks of the new Minister of Interior will include working on ending the sit-ins. This is a very difficult task that cannot be accomplished without removing its causes. The starting point may be the removal of all the suspicious individuals, in particular the commander of the Central Security Forces and Commander of the Republican Guard. All of them have made mistakes and they are still killing the innocents and committing acts of corruption.

  • marzoug

    2011-12-9

    What are the names of the ministers from the ruling party and the opposition?