By Mohammed al-Joumah
For National Yemen
Some Yemenis believe that Vice-President Abd-Rabuh Mansoor Hadi will be successful in developing and unifying Yemen. Others believe that he will not, and some actually prefer that he fail. However, all Yemenis seem to share the belief that if he fails it will be because he is just another another military man that will be burned by Yemeni politics due to his lack of knowledge from his work behind the scenes. Yet these reasons are incorrect.
Many believe that his military background makes him no different as a politician and will make it difficult for him to unify the country. However, this concern is mistaken as there have been many military leaders who have reached power through democratic ways and have had great success in improving their country. A clear example of this is in the United States.
Another critique pointed at Hadi is that he lacks knowledge of Yemeni politics. This is apparent through his nick name alone – Man of the Shadows. This belief is mistaken as well. Just because he spent time behind the scenes in Yemeni politics does not necessarily make Hadi a person who does not know the rules of Yemeni politics. In fact, his former work with Saleh gave him the chance to learn many things about politics. Furthermore, his priorities were always about meeting the essential needs of Yemeni citizens. By previously working on this, he has extensive knowledge on how to improve Yemen as a whole. The most successful politicians are those who have had great success in business and social sectors. Thus his work behind the scenes and connections with the former government are attributes, not a cause for concern.
These concerns are further mistaken as Hadi already enjoys the support of the international community and important sectors [D1] of Yemen. Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, was sent to Yemen to offer Hadi the United States’s clear support. The European Union has also given him its support.
Hadi’s background will enable him to take charge in solving the southern issue. The fact that he is originally from the Abyan Governorate will greatly help him to work out problems with many activities and reach a decision that will indeed share power and wealth equally between the north and the south.
Hadi’s background and support are not cause of concern, but will help him in his duties in the future. Instead, the real concern with Hadi is that there is still too much focus on him as an individual. This gives the appearance that the fate of Yemen will be determined by one person, as opposed to multiple government institutions. The slogan of this phase in Yemen’s history is national participation, meaning that every citizen has a role to play in Yemen’s future – not just the Vice President. Therefore we must eliminate the presence of strong personalities in Yemeni politics and reactivate the role of institutions to ensure Yemen’s success.
Undoubtedly there will be military and tribal forces that will not like the idea of a successful Hadi. However, with strong national and international support as well as his unique background, Hadi will be able to meet the myriad of challenges before him.