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Youth Are the Driving Force in Yemen

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TEHRAN, April 12 (ICANA) – Yemeni rallies have been consistent even with pro-government violence in demonstrations, while the opposition has rejected a proposal by the Persian Gulf Arab states.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:21:26 AM
Youth Are the Driving Force in Yemen

Press TV interviewed Emtinan Mdhwahi of Yermen's Watan Coalition regarding the protests demanding the removal of President Saleh and police brutality against protesters.


Q: What do you think of the situation that is now going on in your country?


Mdhwahi: First of all, the situation in Yemen in our Freedom Square is really going terrible and horrible. We have thousands of people that were injured with the gas that was thrown on them, and the gas that was thrown on them had been expired since 1995. There are 20 protesters that were kidnapped yesterday from Sana'a, and nobody knows where they are until now. There are lots of people trying from the square and the civil society to locate where these 20 people have been kidnapped to. I just want to comment on something.


The protests yesterday were a kind of demonstration. They weren't going to Sana'a, where the Saleh Mosque is. It's a kind of demonstration that the protesters have been participating in within the last week. They were like 100 meters in the same area. They were not that close or even slightly close to the mosque. The attack was from the militaries and from the political center if I'm right. This is their name in English. It wasn't done by citizens. I have a lot of family in that area who told me all of it was done by the military people.


Q: What's been said about Yemen is that even if they are to believe that Ali Abdullah Saleh will agree to hand over power, the question will be handing over power to whom; and is it really the time? Do the mechanics of transfer of power in Yemen really exist? Do you see Abdullah Mansur al-Hadi as a candidate?


Mdhwahi: I think I would agree with your guest Mr. Mawari regarding the constitution and all of that such as transferring the powers. He should give it to the vice president if he has an official declaration. Abdullah Mansur is only appointed and there are no official terms for him to become vice president. Regarding the next person becoming president, I think this is a really kind of immature and early to present.


What we want right now is a step-down. There is a strategy regarding how Yemen is going to be managed. It has been presented by the Joint Parties and a committee, and to international embassies and also to Saleh himself. So it doesn't mean that we don't have a plan in how to run the country during the step-down of Ali Saleh in this period. However, giving names at this period is an early stage for us, and for the youth themselves. The youth want it to be a democratic process.


They want to change the constitution first. They want to have a new parliament system. They have a lot of items they would like to see change in Yemen before announcing who the president is. The [P]GCC initiative has asked Saleh not to step down, but only transfer the power to Abdullah Hadi Mansur. I would like to add that you will have an announcement from the youth in the street of accepting the change or not accepting it.


I don't think they will accept it because there is no immediate step-down for him or his family from this regime. It's an early stage to speak about the presidents to be. There are a lot of names. Mr. Yasin Saeed Noman is one of the greatest leaders, and he has been known for Yemeni people for how educated, how politically well-spoken [he is], and [for his knowledge of] how to run the Joint Parties in a moderate way.


He is a really good candidate but Mr. Yasin Saeed Noman with his good political backgrounds never puts himself in a position to become a president. He never has announced it. He has always in all of his interviews said that this is a youth-type revolution, and we will try to implement what the youth are requesting. The youth are not trying to find nominations to have a seat instead of Ali Saleh right now.

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