News Release

Yemen “Elections”

SUSANNE DAHLGREN, susanne.dahlgren at helsinki.fi
Dahlgren writes frequently on Yemen. She is Academy of Finland research fellow with the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and the author of Contesting Realities: The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen. (Syracuse Univ. Press 2010). She said today: “Today Yemen will have presidential ‘elections” with only one candidate, Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi from Saleh’s party. It is questionable that these elections represent a step forward, and for sure, they hardly reflect the demands of the popular uprising. In fact what we have in Yemen now is the old card trick called ‘dialogue’ Saleh has used for years to lure his opposition into bad compromises. Many Yemenis refuse to believe in Hadi’s leadership. They remember last summer when Saleh spent months hospitalized in Saudi Arabia after a rocket attack and Hadi acted as the nominal head while Saleh’s sons actually held power. The losers of Yemen’s stalemate situation are those who dared to risk their lives to demand justice and fairness, and in today’s Yemen, it is the majority of people. As one indication of the seriousness of the situation in Yemen, the government prevents foreign observers to enter the country in the manner of the Syrian regime.”