Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The “Former” Yemeni President | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The declaration made by the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh stating that he would not stand as a candidate for another term as president of the republic was a bombshell that surprised us all.

It has introduced a new feature into the culture of Arab political ideology. If such a statement is followed through, historians will boldly write that Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first Arab president to step down and abandon rule completely aware of the road that he has chosen to take!

Me message to him is this, stand firm in your decision! Do not allow the voices of Sana’a to persuade you to reconsider your decision. They will tell you (and they probably already have) that if you resign the country will be ruined and the people will perish. Do not believe them and it seems that you are far more intelligent to believe such words. Let them protest and demonstrate, illustrating their support for you but do not listen to them.

I assure you that your name will be proudly engraved into Arab history. Fathers will point out your picture in the newspapers and tell their sons that this is the Arab leader who consciously let go of power when he felt the time was correct.

Your decision, Mr. President, has filled us with happiness. Therefore, please do not disappoint us by going back on it. It is your duty to contradict those who claim that the statement is a tactical effort towards the election campaigns and to ultimately, continue your post as president.

Think about all the respect that you will gain when received as an honorable guest in Arab conferences and meetings, and when visiting the Yemeni governorates as a former president without the hassle of guards or procession cars. We want you to fulfill our dream of holding the title of ”former Arab president”, a title that nobody has previously held.

Mr. President, fight for your decision! Refuse all calls to withdraw from it. We also plead that you persuade your son not to run for presidency so that it does not seem that you strategically gave up your position for it to be filled by him. You will discover after leaving office that there are joys of the simple, modest life of which you were deprived.

Mr. President, uphold your decision and may God bless you!