Political Analysis

Islah Chairman: Saleh’s departure would be “a great help”

National Yemen

Mohammed Al-Yadoomi

By: Mohammed Al-Jumaa’y

In an interview on the Al-Jazeera program “Without Limits,” Islah Party Supreme Board Chairman Mohammed Al-Yadoomi gave a pointed response to the question of whether what happened in Yemen was a full revolution. Al-Yadoomi said, “The youth overthrew a president who continues to live in one of his houses; many observers believe his leaving Yemen would be a great help.”

Al-Yadoomi said that all rational people and observers don’t rule out charging Saleh for all that is happening in Yemen, including the last assassination attempt of the defense minister. According to Al-Yadoomi, Saleh is now just part of the past and only Allah knows what end he will face if continues with his games. “The Yemeni people won’t just be satisfied with throwing him out,” he added.

In the interview, Al-Yadoomi was very confident about the Yemenis’ choice of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to be president. He insisted that the security forces which became loyal to the new president could control the chaos while the president was away in Mecca. He added that there shouldn’t be any fear of attempts to rebel against the regime when Hadi leaves Yemen to participate in the friends of Yemen conference in New York. “It’s useless to talk about the ability of Saleh’s relatives to effect control over the capital with the help of the Republican Guard. It’s necessary to face any rebellion by Yemeni people,” he added.

Al-Yadoomi said that thugs allied to the former regime cause many troubles to the new government when it comes to attempts to achieve economic stability. “However, GPC Party ministers are patriotic enough and no longer follow Ali Abdullah Saleh,” he said. On a similar note, Al-Yadoomi said it was the duty of the Islah Party to help the GPC to stand on its feet again and restructure itself rid itself of Saleh’s leadership of the party.

Regarding the future, he ruled out the possibility of the Islah party taking control of the elections or of their ruling the country. He said it was premature to talk about presenting an Islah Party candidate for the coming elections. “We agreed with the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) to have a parliamentary, rather than a presidential, system,” he added.

In the interview, Al-Yadoomi said the Islah Party in Yemen has no relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He added that Islah’s connection with the JMP is that of an alliance to rebuild Yemen. “Each party continues to keep its privacy and beliefs for itself,” he stated. According to him, parties had agreed to direct the country towards clear elections and for national unity to be retained.

Al-Yadoomi also spoke about Islah-Houthi relations, saying the relationship exists only on the level of Change Squares and also that they are not free of tension. “The Houthis determine the kind of relations we have with them, and for sure we will help them change, to be a political party on the condition of leaving behind violence,” he added. Al-Yadoomi said the Islah party is trying to create a modern civil country that is built on pillars of freedom and equality and which believes in peaceful transfers of power.

Concerning relations with the United States Embassy, Al-Yadoomi said that many government officials had a desire to stop U.S. interference in Yemen’s internal affairs. “However, it is necessary to differentiate between positive attempts by the U.S. to help Yemen survive the current situation and its mistakes,” he said. He added that he believed the U.S., United Nations and Gulf countries were serious about helping Yemen, and that their interests relate to the stability of Yemen and its people.

The Chairman of the Islah Party’s Supreme Board concluded the interview by speaking about Saudi Arabia’s positive attitude in recent times.