GCC deal implementation may face challenges in Yemen

Updated: 2011-11-24 06:30


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SANAA - The Yemeni parties inked on Wednesday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal and its implementation mechanism in a landmark signing which came after almost nine months of political deadlock and protests calling for the ouster of the regime.

Under the deal, President Ali Abdullah Saleh would hand over power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and resign within 30 days to end his 33-year rule, in return for immunity from prosecution.

A national consensus government will be formed in 14 days and Hadi will then issue a decree assigning the candidate chosen by the opposition to form a government, and an early presidential elections will be held in 90 days after signing.

Saying the signing was a positive step towards putting an end to the current situation in Yemen, local experts argued the implementation of the deal to solve the Yemeni crisis may not be as easy as signing it.

Abdul Ghani al-Maweri, a political analyst and writer, said Vice President Hadi who will be responsible for managing the country's affairs in the coming period might not be able to accomplish his mission perfectly.

"There are doubts Hadi will succeed in managing the transitional period because his career can justify such doubts," he continued.

Abdul Raqeeb al-Hathyani, a journalist in Aden, said Hadi has remained for almost 17 years silent as an inactive vice president, an attitdue which suggests this man may not be tough enough to succeed in running the coming period in Yemen.  

Other observers said Hadi was accepted by both the ruling party and the opposition, but the real question is whether the Yemeni parties are ready to help him implement the GCC deal.

"The implementation mechanism of the GCC deal is just the details of the power transfer plan and Hadi will succeed if he receives help from the ruling party and the opposition," said Abdul Salam Muhammad at the ABAAD Center for Strategic Studies.

"If the Yemeni people can ensure the transitional period will pass without problems, mainly, bloodshed, they will be ready to implement the deal," he said.

However, sporadic clashes between Saleh's armed loyalists and their foes rattled Yemen's major cities just minutes after Saleh signed the GCC initiative, leaving at least seven people wounded, according to several witnesses.

Observers also said the signing on Wednesday came amid international pressure and threats to sanction Saleh.

"The GCC deal implementation mechanism remains a roadmap to solve the Yemeni problems but who can ensure the parties will not differ again and then turn to create crises in their country," al- Hathyani said.

On the other hand, the upcoming government led by the oppostion faced real challenges, such as coordinating with different political forces in the country, including separatist Southern Movement, northern Shiite Houthi rebels, youth protesters as well as dealing with the resurgent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Moreover, as one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen has lost more than 10 billian U.S. dollars of government revenue since the unrest erupted at the beginning of this year, triggering the collapse of its security situation and economic development. Putting the social order back to track and reviving the sluggish economy could take years and pose challenges to the new national government.