OP-ED

Jobs for a Few Good Men

Finding and keeping a good job is a universal concern, and seeking out a higher position in one’s career is a natural part of the employment process.  Recently, the President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, announced the date and time for the upcoming parliamentary elections for April 27th, 2011. The announcement come as a challenge to the opposition parties who disagree strongly with electoral procedures as well as proposed changes to the constitution.

They would have been quite satisfied with a power-sharing agreement inked with the ruling party on July 17th, 2010, by which they would have been allotted 100 seats, and the ruling party the same, while the rest of the seats would have been contested by other parties.

It was in pursuit of more gainful employment that 9 ministers resigned from the government of PM Ali al-Mujawir, in order to seek candidacy in the 2011 parliamentary elections.  It has proven to be in the interest of these men to stay in power and make sure they get even better jobs through this artifice, in case of any cabinet reshuffling after the elections endangered their prized positions.

It’s clear from these events that officials of both the opposition and the ruling party know where the risks to their jobs lie, and will pursue any protest or exploit any trick to maintain their power.

Some of the new candidates, mainly on the ruling party side, already have sons or brothers in the current parliament. Being a member of the government staff – as deputy minister, minister, or ambassador – is prestigious and profitable, but these ministers seem to think that a parliamentary seat would serve the same purpose, but might just afford them with more job security.

The opposition is playing dirty too, and they are bent on controlling the next government – but is the opposition in a stable enough position to lead the country to a better future?

If this is the mentality of decision-makers, what kind of example does this set for citizens to follow in their own lives and careers?   Even if their actions flout their responsibilities, and the trust invested in them by their titles and by the Yemeni people, politicians in Yemen during this political season seem determined to act for their own gain.