The title of an Al-Jazeera article released on February 21, 2012 is “Yemen election ends Saleh’s 33-year rule” (Web-site/URL: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/201222117511739757.html).
“Hadi cast his vote at a polling station near his house in the capital, Sanaa. The station was changed at the last minute because of reports of A BOMB THREAT“. So there are clearly still tensions. “This is a QUALITATIVE leap for MODERN Yemen”. Saleh was clearly part of OLD Yemen. “There will be BIG POLITICAL, ECONOMIC and SOCIAL CHANGE, which is the way out of the crisis that has ravaged the country“. “There will (also) be big political, economic and social” CHALLENGES for Yemen into the future.
According to the prominent Yemeni human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakul Karman, “We are now declaring THE END OF (?) the Ali Abdullah Saleh era and will build a new Yemen”. How can Karman be SURE of this? SALEH IS NOT DEAD and with the Internet an indispensable part of our lives now, we certainly CAN’T rule out the possibility that Saleh will try to influence the outcome of these elections from his hospital bed in New York.
“After polls closed, Victoria Nuland, the US State Department spokeswoman, congratulated the Yemeni people for “carrying out this SUCCESSFUL (?) presidential election and taking the next step in their democratic transition“. “successful?” Saleh has been succeeded by ABD MANSOUR HADI, SALEH’S deputy, who was THE ONLY candidate in this election, which is just like MOHAMMED HUSSEIN TANTAWI taking over for HOSNI MUBARAK (Tantawi, of course was Mubarak’s long-time Defense Minister). Using that logic, WE CAN HARDLY CALL the transition from SALEH to HADI “successful”. “However, she said (that) the election was “only THE FIRST step in a LONG, COMPLEX transition” including constitutional and voting system reforms” obviously. All of these “reforms” WILL TAKE TIME.
Finally, “The UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, called on all parties in the country to abide by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)-brokered power transfer deal”. “The international community and the United Nations Security Council would CLOSELY MONITOR this process“, whatever that means. As we know, THE ARAB LEAGUE was supposed to “closely monitor” the situation in SYRIA and we know how that turned out: that was A HORRIFIC FAILURE, with attacks on civilians only GETTING WORSE.
So Yemen STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO on their road to democracy