Monday, 29 June 2015

Houthis call for “national partnership” government

Yemeni Socialist Party says will not join
Yemenis line up to buy Yemeni food called "sambusa" during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the capital Sana’a, on June 28, 2015. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais)
Yemenis line up to buy Yemeni food called “sambusa” during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the capital Sana’a, on June 28, 2015. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais)
Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Houthi movement currently in control of large parts of Yemen is seeking to form a “national partnership” government composed of different Yemeni political factions.
A statement by the group on Sunday said it was currently looking into forming “a government based on national partnership between all the political factions that took part in the Geneva talks.”
“There are currently ongoing talks with most of the political groups . . . in Yemen, especially Southern groups,” Hamza Al-Houthi, a senior member of the group and a member of its Politburo, said in the statement.
The Houthis, backed by Iran and Yemen’s former ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh staged a coup in February, deposing internationally recognized President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. This came almost five months after the group’s militias overran the capital Sana’a precipitating a political crisis in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country that continues until now.
The Houthis, other Yemeni political groups, and members of Hadi’s government met in Geneva earlier this month for UN-sponsored peace consultations. However, both sides failed to reach any agreement during the talks due to the Houthis not abiding by a UN resolution stipulating their withdrawal from areas under their control and ceasing all hostilities against civilians.
Hadi requested Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies to intervene in Yemen to restore the recognized political authority in the country. A Saudi-led coalition has targeted the group in an aerial campaign since March 26.
Houthi militias are also fighting on the ground across the country against volunteer groups loyal to Hadi as well as fighters from the Southern separatist group Al-Hirak.
A Yemeni political source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni political groups were unlikely to answer the Houthi calls to form a government, as they were currently more concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in the country.
“The Houthi statement hinted that some factions within the Southern Al-Hirak movement would join this proposed government. But they know full well that the main factions [within] Al-Hirak, which are led by people with a long history of struggle, will never be on the side of the [Houthi] militias who are killing Southerners daily,” the source said.
Al-Hirak and other Southern groups call for the reinstatement of the former Republic of South Yemen, which came to an end in 1986 with the formation of the modern Republic of Yemen.
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman Al-Saqqaf, the secretary-general of the Yemeni Socialist Party, told Asharq Al-Awsat his party would not be joining any government with the Houthis.
“We are abiding by the UN resolution, which stipulates that no one political side takes any steps or procedures unilaterally. This move [by the Houthis] is in violation of the UN resolution and will create more problems than lead to stability,” Saqqaf said.
“These political factions the Houthis are referring to will not include the Yemeni Socialist Party. This proposed government will probably only include the Houthis, the General People’s Congress party led by Saleh, and other small political groups that barely carry any political weight. No party that respects its history and itself will participate in this government

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