News Analysis: Yemen crises blamed on failed power-sharing deals

News Analysis: Yemen crises blamed on failed power-sharing deals

by Fuad Rajeh

SANAA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- As Yemen continues to witness the fallout from acute fuel shortages, political assassinations, and militant attacks targeting energy facilities, analysts say the government's power-sharing deals are aggravating the nation's problems, not solving them.

CONFUSED PRIORITIES

Observers told Xinhua the Yemeni government's political strategy focuses on parceling out government ministries to political parties, while neglecting the primarily economic problems that concern the Yemeni people the most.

"The government does not give priority to the most crucial political and economic issues," said Fuad Alsalahi, a political sociology professor at Sanaa University. "That is why people don't have basic services such as electricity, fuels and clean water."

"The transition deal mainly called for restoring and improving basic services as well as putting the national interests ahead of anything else, (but) the government has not been committed to that, " he added.

Head of the Arab Center for Political Studies and Development, Nabil Albukiri, said Yemen's power-sharing government has failed to come together as a team, leading to confusion and competing priorities.

"The people are aware of challenges being faced in the country including threats by militants. Nevertheless, the people are looking for economic reforms and better services," Albukiri said.

SECURITY OR THE ECONOMY?

Yemen, the Arab world's most impoverished country, has been suffering from a deteriorating economy in the midst of tense ethnic conflicts as well as the government's military offensive against suspected al-Qaida militants in the south.

For almost a month, the country's army has led an offensive against suspected al-Qaida militants, driving them from the areas they had occupied in the southern and southeastern regions. The offensive coincided with sectarian conflict between the Houthi group and other tribes in the far north, which has recently triggered military interventions as armed groups threatened with increased violence.

Abdul Salam Muhammed, head of Abaad Center for Strategic Studies, said the government should focus on the rule of law and regaining control of various dissident parts of the country, arguing the economic problems can be solved after security returns.

"In transition times, security should be given priority, and I think the current economic problems are blamed on the absence of clear security and economic priorities in the transition deal," Muhammad said.

"In addition, the international community, including countries backing the deal, has failed to provide the necessary economic support to Yemen. This attitude adds to reasons for the current deterioration in the country," he added.

Last week, the House of Representatives began a debate over constitutional measures for a vote of no confidence in the Yemeni government. Analysts said such a move, if backed by public pressure, could result in a change of government.

"What the Yemenis need is a technocrat government," says Najeeb Ghalab, a professor of politics at Sanaa University.

"The current government has become an obstacle to development," he said. "The government structure was suitable in 2011 because there were fears of civil war. Such structure is not helpful anymore."