Yemen President calls for first elections of regional governors

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued a decree Sunday calling for the Arab country's first-ever elections of provincial governors to be held on May 17, the official Saba news agency reported.

Yemen President calls for first elections of regional governors
Under the Presidential Decree No. 7/2008, members of the regional municipalities will vote to elect a mayor for the capital Sana'a and governors for the country's 20 other provinces.

The would-be elected governors will replace incumbents, who had been appointed by the president.

The election, the first in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country, has already been criticised by the opposition as undemocratic.

Some 8,127 members of local councils, elected through universal suffrage elections in 2006, will cast their votes in the governors' elections.

A political coalition grouping the main opposition parties said last week it would boycott the planned election, saying that it contradicts with the principle of free and direct elections.

In a statement, the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, dubbed the proposed elections of governors as a "play", and called for the governors to be elected by the public rather than municipal councils.

The opposition says the domination of Saleh's ruling General People's Congress party over municipal councils would only result in electing governors close to the president.

Prompted by a series of violent protests in southern provinces, Saleh promised on April 10, to introduce several administrative reforms, including the election of provincial governors.

On April 16, the Parliament, amended the Local Authorities Law to allow electing governors by members of the local councils.

Agencies
Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2008, 15:20
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