Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Major spat brewing between Saleh and Yemeni VP | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- An official Yemeni source close to Vice President Abdu Rabu Hadi has confirmed that differences are growing between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Vice President Hadi because of the former’s interference, through his loyalists in the General People’s Congress [GPC], in the powers invested in Vice President Hadi by the GCC initiative.

The source, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said: “Through the major meetings that President Saleh holds he seeks to suggest that he is staying in the country and in political action, and that he is ready for confrontation. These moves by President Saleh run counter to the political agreement reached through international and regional sponsorship, and to the signing of the GCC initiative. In addition, they constitute clear interference in the vice president’s work.”

The source revealed that differences escalated after the latest meeting that President Saleh held with the GPC’s leaders. During that meeting, certain GPC leaders mocked Vice President Hadi, prompting him to walk out of the meeting along with Abdul-Karim al-Iryani, the political adviser to the president, and the defense minister.

The source held what he called “extremists or hawks” in the GPC responsible for seeking to thwart the efforts of the vice president to lead the transitional stage in the country.

The source believes that, “Some extremists, or the so-called hawks in the GPC, seek to hinder the political process to get as many gains as possible before the end of the transitional stage. They plan to grab huge sums of funds from the state’s treasury before the end of the transitional period.”

He pointed out that those he called “extremists and hawks” in the GPC are trying to play in overtime, but they are out of tune with the general trend. No one can veer from the GCC initiative, which is now backed by international legitimacy and regional neighbors.” He stressed that “the good people in the GPC will eventually be able to overcome this dispute.”

The source stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Vice President Hadi is facing orchestrated attempts to hinder his work. He added that Hadi twice intended to leave for Aden and stay there, but changed his mind at the last moment after consulting with some of his advisers. They reminded him that going to Aden and staying there would raise particular sensitivity, as some hawks in the GPC may exploit his move and portray it as preparation for the secession of south Yemen.”

The source added: “Vice President Hadi also considered traveling to Al-Hudaydah to discount such accusations. He still insists on leaving unless those extremist elements stop their attempts to hinder the on-going political process in the country.” This source warned of the GPC’s extremists’ persistence in their attempts as this would drag the country away from its plan, because their attempts run counter to the GCC initiative, its executive mechanism, and international legitimacy represented by UN Security Council Resolution 2014.

These developments followed some bickering during the GPC meeting a few days ago between moderate and extremist GPC leaders known for their loyalty to President Saleh. During that meeting, the GPC leaders discussed the protests sweeping some state institutions demanding the dismissal of the regime’s symbols. The extremist leaders accused Vice President Hadi of leniency toward the protests sweeping these institutions, which were recently best by a wave of protests demanding the dismissal of directors and leading personalities accused of corruption. Hadi said this would not have happened were President Saleh not satisfied with it.

Certain political Yemeni sources said that Vice President Hadi told international mediators of interference in his powers by symbols of the former regime. He said they attempt to obstruct implementation of the GCC initiative, its executive mechanism, and the missions of the national accord government. Tension reached the point of prompting Hadi and Dr Abdul-Karim al-Iryani to boycott the consultative meeting that President Saleh held with his political party leaders.