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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
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 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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid