After a year of mass demonstrations and street battles which brought the country to the brink of civil war, Yemen is preparing for presidential elections on 21 February; the sole candidate, Vice-President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, kicked off his campaign yesterday. While some observers argue that the election is a mere change of guard, others suggest it is the only way to save Yemen from collapse – ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered agreement signed in November 2011. The GCC deal aimed to end a year of fighting that led to a deepening humanitarian crisis. But the election is being held under difficult circumstances. Violence remains widespread across the country and the election is being opposed by Islamist militants, some elements within the Southern Movement, and the Houthis, who were left out of the November deal.Full Article: IRIN Middle East | Analysis: Yemen election overview | Yemen | Conflict | Governance | Refugees/IDPs | Security.
Feb 9 2012