OP-ED

The President and Transitional Political Game

It seems that the reign of the transitional has not worked yet in Yemen. President AbdRaboo Mansour Hadi first came to power in early 2012 in a presidential election. Two years later, the president is still seeking an appropriate political partner to run the country with peacefully and respectfully.

The political transition in Yemen is part of the Gulf Initiative that was designed to save the former president and the political individuals who worked with him for 33 years. Political parties have approved the transition process on paper, but they have not given up working against it. By nominating Hadi, each political party including the former president and youth revolutionists supporters were hoping to play the game of interim president by aiming to exclude other political groups. Houthis were not in a key position until the National Dialogue kicked off in March 2013.

The former president accepted the Gulf Initiative in late 2011 with the intention of secretly running the country through the position of the interim president, using his personal influence on his former deputy. It didn’t quite go according to plan; the interim president has little patience for the foolish acts of Saleh. Instead, with the help of Jamal Benomer, Hadi cut the feathers of Saleh, applying a military restructuring to ensure military loyalty.

To put an end to Saleh’s interference, Hadi turned to the tribes, youth revolutionists, and General Mohsin and his Islah party, the second most powerful party in the country. Hadi brought them closer together, aiming to create a balance against the greediness of the former president. This alliance worked very well during the National Dialogue. The new alliance group began applying more pressure to influence the interim president’s acts. Not just that, the major general boldly refused to hand over his military power. One again, this has empowered the confidence of the new alliance members to exert their own power and influence over the Hadi.

To defeat this new collaboration and create new balances, President Hadi brought the battle to Sana’a through the Houthi rebellion. This collaboration nearly was about to ended the President’s term in office through their military coup. In one week the Houthis took over the capital of Sana’a. This wouldn’t have happened if the former president, his party, Ali Mohsein and other political parties were able to interfere in the President’s transition plan. Even the Houthis, when they tried to interfere in the President’s acts, lost part of their support from the public. Yemen still a complicated country and the approval of the Houthi demands for change are not the only things happening in the Yemen transition. Let us wait for the new government to judge if the country will improve for good or will remain fragile.

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