OP-ED

Government Fails to Meet People’s Expectations

National Yemen
Yemeni President and Prmie Minister

By: Saddam Al-Ashmori

The initiative proposed by the GCC included the formation of a government of national reconciliation. The new government was approved by the House of Representatives and was assigned a set of tasks to be achieved during a limited time including the duty of improving the quality of life of Yemeni citizens.

Despite the new government the general situation has continued to deteriorate and people have not seen any improvement in their lives. Even with ample time, roads were not open, armed groups were not removed from the different cities and other problems remained.

Recently, the government provided the House of Representatives with a report that summarizes the achievements of the past period. The report showed that the government had failed to meet the people’s expectations in the following areas:

Economy:

On an economic level, the new government was unable to reset the prices of food or bring back levels of consumption as they were before the revolution. In addition, fuel was not regularly available and its price still remained higher than pre revolution levels. In the report provided by Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindowa, the government did not include any solution for these crucial and chronic problems.

Security:

Al-Qaeda and other armed groups-linked members are still carrying out their destructive operations that are severely affecting the life of Yemenis. The armed groups have intensified their operations while the government said that gunmen continuously attack power lines.

All of this cast doubt on the reason why the government did not seriously handle all these problems according to the decision number NO.18. Earlier, the government approved the decision to publish the names of those who attack power lines through the different media.

Similarly, the government did not show any ability to deal with the lawlessness represented by the lack of discipline that seems to affect many places throughout Yemen. The government has also been unable to deal with attacks made on fuel trucks and the different vehicles loaded with food and goods. According to the government, the oil pipeline in Mareb is constantly attacked which resulted in reduction of the daily production to 15000 barrel a day.

Military Committee of Achieving Security:

Though the military committee should be working on its duties and seriously dealing with those who refuse its demands, the report of the government showed that the committee faces many challenges and obstacles when doing its work. The government showed that certain authorities reject obeying the laws of the committee of removing the armed manifestation from certain districts in the capital. Though it is of the committee’s duty to restore the stability and security to the streets it is unable to achieve this. Moreover, despite the statement made by the government that it succeeded evacuating a number of neighborhoods from armed militias, gunmen still retain their position in the cities.

Armed Groups:

In its report, the government stated that certain social figures do not cooperate with the military committee and that they are supporting armed men in the different cities. According to the report, the committee did not have the help of social figures to remove all armed groups from the streets.

Biased Government:

The report of the government showed that the government clearly worked to satisfy those residing in the change squares rather than satisfying all Yemenis. Though it was assigned to fix the situations of the displaced people from Abyan governorate, it approved the decision of granting the families of martyrs a monthly salary to make up the loss of their relatives. This clarified that the government is a government of opposition rather than a government of national reconciliation.

Budget:

The government approved a general budget of 2 trillion YR and is the highest budget for any Yemeni government ever.  Economic analysts believe that the government was not realistic at all when approving this budget and that it will wake up on reality sooner than it expects. Dr. Saif Al-Osaeli, Professor of Economics and Finance at Sana’a University said that the budget approved by the government lacks proper analysis and is a contradiction. He believes that it was built on illusion rather than precise and real resources.

Al-Osaeli said that it would be a great risk for the government to depend so heavily on this budget.  The countries that sponsored the GCC initiative will only support projects, not an entire government budget. Because of this, Al-Osaeli said the budget will only produce a huge deficit and that the government will face two bitter choices: leading the economy to break down or deceiving people.

Al-Osaeli accused the government for losing its way since the first day and carrying out political vendettas instead of conducting its assigned tasks. “As one of those who observe the work of the government, I can say that nothing has been done to improve the general situation,” Al-Osaeli concluded.

Depending on International Support:

The government showed through its report that it worked for collecting the international support for the country through the conference of Friends of Yemen conference held in London on March 22, 2012. The main task of this conference was to ensure the importance of collecting and proposing a set of recommendations and reports about the real situation in Yemen. These recommendations will be presented to the second conference in Riyadh this upcoming June and will be approved and implemented so they can help restoring the stability in Yemen.