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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More