Yemen election a step in the right direction

Presidential poll an opportunity to end cycle of violence and rebuild the country

Gulf News

The election that took place in Yemen is significant as it will set the pace for the future of the country. After much delay and obstacles, the country has taken the first step towards a process that is aimed at serving the voice of the people. It will be a long road for Yemenis to attain what they aspire for — yet one that can only be achieved if the goal remains in focus.

Thousands of Yemenis voted on Tuesday to elect a successor to President Ali Abdullah Saleh with an estimated turnout of around 60 per cent. There were incidents of violence erupting in the south of the country as well as denunciations by youth activists who described the process as one being run by the pro-establishment elite.

There is no doubt that there are many challenges being faced by those who are seeking to change the ground reality in Yemen. It has taken Yemen a long time to reach where it is today and the journey has been long and painful. At times, the struggle has been costly, especially given the number of those killed and injured in clashes between protesters and government forces.

Nevertheless, all the factors surrounding the situation in the country should be taken into account. For months, Yemen has been at a standstill. This has been the case even after Saleh signed an agreement to step aside. Having a political vacuum for a long period of time is dangerous and could in fact lead to endless confrontations that would leave the country on the verge of chaos or collapse.

Hence, the recent election is a first step on which the future is to be built. And it is this positive aspect that should be supported and pushed forward.