By Fakhri al-Arashi
Since the start of the National Dialogue conference on March 18th of this year, Yemen has been improving day by day and is often referenced as a potential model for other Arab Spring countries. Yes, members have withdrawn and not because they had the country’s best interests in mind. These actions have hindered the implementation of the youth revolution’s goals.
Why have delegates resigned? The first vocal rejections of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) seemed to have more to do with security than ideology. The most important prospective member, Hamid al-Hamer, was afraid that a known daily routine, such as attending conference meetings, would make him an easy target for assassination. Another reason for his rejection of the conference may very well be not wanting to meet daily with the enemies that he purposely avoids.
Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman likely wants to keep her Nobel Prize and clean image unblemished. If she completely condemned the conference, would she be supporting it from a distance like she announced?
Harak participation is positive; the most serious delegates, however, are those working within the nine groups of the NDC to find solutions to the country’s various problems, including a solution to the southern issue.
The resignation of someone like al-Suraimah should have been expected. A man like him does not have the patience to attend daily sessions, as it involves neglecting his business. He is a businessman more than a politician and his willingness to participate was based on certain promises that had been made to him. Those promises were not fulfilled by Hadi, so he withdrew.
Last Wednesday I read the letter of Sheikh al-Shaif apologizing for his participation in the National Dialogue. This reminds me of the first day of the conference when every sheikh and minister was eager to secure the first rows of seating.
The resignations and withdrawals have more to do with personal reasons and interests; those who left were not confident that six months of hard work would bring anything other than frustration and depression.
There shouldn’t be a race to resign. This process is about rebuilding the country. History is being made; there are there working to save the country, and those working to destroy it.