News / Middle East

Yemenis Take Another Step Forward in Unfinished Revolution

A woman casts her vote during the presidential elections at a polling station in Al Hasaba neighborhood in Sana'a February 21, 2012.
A woman casts her vote during the presidential elections at a polling station in Al Hasaba neighborhood in Sana'a February 21, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott

Yemenis turned out in large numbers to approve a new president, after a popular uprising led to a regionally brokered peace deal providing for Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

The outcome is pre-ordained, but that did not stop people in the capital from flooding polling stations to choose their first new president in nearly 34 years.

Pride in the success of the uprising seemed to counter any resentment that only one name was on the ballot, that of Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

A worker in Sana'a's old city says the people have already accomplished much.  
Sadek, who gave just his first name, said Yemenis expressed themselves before the election by going out and demanding that Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Despite the crush of expression again Tuesday, polling places in Sana'a appeared to be handling the crowds.

Monitoring the vote at al Tabari school, local election observer Ali al Kainai said the process was running smoothly.

“It is a good turnout - a lot of people. I see people and they are happy," he said. "They want to take part in this election. Particularly women;  I see a big turnout of women and that's good.”



Women played a large role in the uprising, but the country's revolution remains largely unfinished. Hadi will preside over a two-year transition period, and the interim government must deal not only with the political, tribal and military rifts that developed in the past year, but an economic and security collapse.

Attacks on electoral officials marred the run-up to the vote, as separatists in the south and rebels in the far north rejected any continuation of the current leadership. Meanwhile, al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has taken advantage of the instability to expand its base. Despite the challenges, political observers say the way President Saleh's era ended is reason to celebrate.

“The fact that he actually left power and left the country relatively peacefully compared to other revolutions that we have seen in the region is a major triumph for the the Yemeni democratic political processes,” noted Stephen Steinbeiser, the resident director of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies.

Yet the long-time leader seems unlikely to fade gently away.  Currently in the United States recovering from an assassination attempt, rumors swirl daily he is about to return.

His supporters take comfort that the incoming president represents a continuation of the Saleh years, and say the outgoing leader still has a role to play.

Author Zaafaran Ali, one of Saleh's strongest backers, says the former leader will have a very big role in the coming months.  She says he'll be in the background, but “he will return to practice his work."

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid