This commentary was published by The Arab Times on 03/05/2011
Obviously, the Yemeni opposition is not ready to compromise. They continue to increase their demands daily, although they are aware that the action is baseless. They intend to push for the ouster of the president by presenting impossible demands and making noise on the streets. This is nothing but an attempt to thwart efforts to resolve the crisis. It will only make Yemen move around an empty circle and prevent the country from ending the suffering of the masses.
We hope President Ali Abdullah Saleh signs the GCC initiative, in his capacity as head of Yemen, to deprive the opposition leader of a chance to sign as head of a party. Allowing the opposition to sign will certainly lead to a remarkable increase in the impossible conditions and Saleh will be regarded as the only obstacle to the peace initiative.
We now call on Saleh to sign the initiative to prevent the opposition from exploiting this opportunity. It is also our responsibility to protect him, because he will resign within 30 days after signing the initiative. In whatever capacity he signs, he should be wary of the opposition that will also be suspicious of him. We do not believe the initiative will spoil any attempt to settle the issue amicably.
Saleh has the right to remain in the seat of power for some people not to claim that he ran away and for him to avoid the same fate as other Arab leaders who resigned due to public pressure that led to chaos in their countries. However, he prefers the peaceful transition of power in line with the Constitution and the GCC initiative. He has been struggling to protect Yemen and prevent chaos, because he prioritizes national welfare over personal interests. The opposition must accept this if they really want reforms and stability for Yemen.
We want to ask the joint opposition: What is the difference if Saleh signs as a party leader and president of Yemen, considering the GCC, United States and European Union will oversee the signing? Actually, there is no difference unless the opposition wants to use the secondary issue to waste time and achieve their special agenda. They feel that wasting time for a few more days will help them realize their objectives, which have irritated the ordinary citizens of Yemen.
Saleh should sign the GCC initiative to deprive the opposition of a chance to obtain public sympathy. In this manner, the people will realize that his intentions are genuine. If he agrees to sign the initiative before the opposition, his foes will not have any opportunity to implement their agenda. We appeal to the joint opposition the same way we have been urging the Yemeni president, if they really have good intentions, to cover the sword and stop presenting impossible demands.