Yemen Announces Formation of New Election Committee
On August 30, Yemeni Minister of Legal Affairs Mohamed Mikhlafi announced the creation of an new election committee ahead of a round of elections which are slated to take place within the next two months. “The coming period will witness the formation of the Supreme Committee for Elections and the creation of a new electoral register free from errors, as is rightful in this period of transition,” explained Mikhlafi . At this time, Yemen is undergoing a transition of power from deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh to recently elected President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. “The formation of the new committee will be in accordance with the electoral law currently in force and through consensus and consultation between all parties and political forces,” he added.
Hadi was not expected to make sweeping changes during his two year term, given his victory in a one-man presidential race and his position as Saleh’s former deputy. Yet, he has made incremental moves to push for general reform in the government. Adam Baron finds that some in Yemen are cautiously supportive of Hadi’s actions to date. “So much is unchanged, and the goals of the revolution have not been met. “But in terms of Hadi himself, so far, so good,” said Hamza al-Kamali, a youth activist who boycotted Hadi’s election.
Finally, Amnesty International published an article condemning Yemeni security forces’ targeting of youth activists in the southern part of the country. The piece comes in response to the harassment of organizers and political groups, such as the Southern Movement, in and around Aden. “Peaceful political activists in Aden and other parts of southern Yemen face repression from the Yemeni authorities, including widespread intimidation and arbitrary arrests, as well as torture or other ill-treatment in some cases,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director. He went further by saying, “This repression needs to stop and authorities throughout Yemen must uphold the right to exercise freedom of expression.”