On the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the Yemeni Congregation of reform (the Islah party), President of the party Mohammed al-Yadomi delivered an important address in which he congratulated the Yemeni people, members of Islah, Yemen’s president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi on this occasion. In his address, Al-Yadomi spoke about most Yemen’s issues, presented a series of solution proposals. The script of the address is as follows.
Our great Yemeni people at home and abroad, Islah members and supporters: Peace be upon you.
As we celebrate the 29th anniversary of Islah party’s establishment, the 57th anniversary of the 26 September Revolution is approaching, I would like to congratulate Islah’s members, friends, our political partners and everyone of the Yemeni people and our country’s President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi.
This anniversary witnessed the birth of a Yemeni national political party that is committed to the constitution, effective laws, the republican system and political pluralism and democracy.
The party believes that free and fair election is the sole mean to power transfer. The party considers itself as an ideological and normal extension of political currents that encountered dictatorship, fanatism and discrimination of the imamates’ regime throughout history.
This struggle reached its peak when the 26 September Revolution won in 1962 against the most backward, oppressive, tyrannical and racist regime.
The free military officers, then in the north of the country ignited the 26 September Revolution in all squares. The youth of the reform movement then contributed with all other national republican currents at building the new republican Yemen. Issuance and approval of the first constitutional document in 1970 was the first political base for the republican state foundation. This was followed by the first Shoura Council elections in 1971 and new Shoura Council elections in 1988. The Shoura Council represented then the legislative authority.
Islah contributed more at enriching the political life following its official foundation that followed declaration of Yemen’s blessing unity and establishment of the Republic of Yemen on 22nd May 1990.
The Republic of Yemen sought to build a national opposition and effective participation in democracy through great engagement in all parliamentary elections in 1993, 1997, 2003, presidential elections in 1999 and 2006 as well as local councils’ elections in 2001, 2006 and political referendums in 1991 and 2001.
Islah had and still has a solid unshakable faith in the necessity of building the state institutions to have an effective state for every Yemeni citizen that should be a safe umbrella for everyone seeking reform, combating and eradicating corruption through constitutional and legal procedures as well as peaceful instruments and civilized methods.
Islah’s faith in peaceful power transfer is unshakable regardless of any circumstance. The party took part in the tripartite, then bilateral coalition government that followed the 1993’s parliamentary elections.
When the General Peoples’ Congress (GPC) won majority of the Parliament’s seats in the 1997’s parliamentary elections that enabled it to form the cabinet alone, Islah decided to move to opposition side. It then participated effectively at establishment of the Joint Meeting Parties that is considered the prominent national coalition in the modern history of Yemen’s political work. Islah co-established the JMP despite offers then to remain in a ruling coalition with the GPC.
Our great people:
When the youth of Yemen took down to squares demanding peaceful change in the 2011-February Revolution, Islah with other pro-revolution forces had exerted great efforts to have an agreement for consensus political solutions in an attempt to avoid escalation and confrontations.
The opposition led by the JMP dealt vigilantly and assured brothers in the gulf countries particularly Saudi Arabia that the youth peaceful revolution had reforming demands to repair the problems that were threatening everyone. We received a positive understanding from our brothers [Saudi Arabia]. This awareness resulted into the GCC initiative which was agreed by the political forces and Islah party was in the front because of its faith in the importance of political and peaceful constitutional solution to preserve the state structure and its institutions.
Importance of such vigilance can be felt when we see now destruction of the state institutions in Sana’a and Aden following the Houthis’ coup in 2014 and the 2019 rebellion coup when the state disappeared, and minor-narrowed interests appeared.
Thanks to Allah, then to the political leaders who supported continuation of the state institutions and public services throughout 2011 until signing the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanism on 23 November 2011 in Al-Riyadh of Saudi Arabia which was sponsored by the late King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, may Allah rest him in peace.
A national coalition government was formed, and a presidential election was held in line to the GCC initiative. The power was transferred in super civilized way.
Islah had only four seats in the cabinet to allow representation of all pro-change political forces that were allocated 17 seats that represent half of the cabinet seats.
Yet, we were surprised that some [forces] devoted themselves to falsify facts with the purpose of making political gains using the pretext that Islah predominately dominated the government. This was intended to eliminate Islah. This is the same plot that is taking place again despite the fact that Islah has only five seats out of the current government’s 38 seats. The five ministers of Islah party were all selected and designated to certain ministries by the president in reward to their qualification and competence.
We, at the Islah party, are aware that magnifying Islah’s share of the government is nothing, but clear signs of intentions to not only eliminate the party, but to devote conflict causes in Yemen and hinder success of any political solution.
Islah rejects such allegations and affirms that the new rebellion [in Aden] has distracted Yemenis from the main battle against the Houthi’s coup. The rebels [in Aden] must be aware that their acts stabbed the legitimate government in the back and that such thing benefits only the Houthis in Sana’a.
The old and new rebels (the Houthis in Sana’a and the UAE-supported separatists in Aden) their supporters are merely powers that targeted the national project, harmed the Yemeni state and its institutions and consequently damaged citizens’ rights and their fundamental needs. They embodied mutiny, destruction and destabilization.
Dear countrymen and women:
We have never alleged that our partly is free of errors. Our assessments have not always come true during the past 30 years of Islah’s age. This is normal because they are human-based assessments, and the political work is based on right and wrong assessments.
Islah recalls positive points and deals with other partners upon such constructive themes. We work hard to find what is the right, seek its implementation, then we reassess it again to reform it according to available assessment and reform instruments.
We always prioritize public interests over interest of our party even in times where we had limited number of options due to pressures we are exposed to. Our vision is that the supreme interest of the country is our own direct advantage even if it was planned for a long -term.
We faced several hardships to instill principles of democracy and values of the institutionalized state.
Based on this, we had a firm position against the Houthis’ armed rebellion. We fought against it despite the big plot that brought the Houthis to the capital Sana’a. We all remember when it was said then that the Houthis came only to eliminate Islah. Unfortunately, some parties were fooled by such deception and engaged in the plot.
However, it became obvious that the aim was to eliminate the republican system, the legitimate government, Yemen’s unity and the public peace.
More than any other party, Islah paid a heavy cost for its position. Members and leaders of Islah were killed, injured and maimed and forcibly disappeared. Yet, the party took no ambiguous stance. It sided completely with the people of Yemen, its legitimate authority and the decisive storm and hope restoration led by Saudi Arabia to retrieve the Yemeni state which was initiated by King Salman Bin Abdualaziz and his deputy crown, Mohamed Bin Salman.
Our stance remains steadfast and has not changed. Because we feel it is our duty and a national responsibility towards our people.
Leadership of the two countries [Saudi Arabia and Yemen] know well firmness of our position. We remained steadfast and resistant against distortion campaigns that fabricated that Islah has a new relation with other governments and organizations. They even accused Islah of coordinating with the Houthis militants. The fact is that Islah opened its heart to everyone and made concessions to reach common agreements to mobilize efforts towards the state retrieval and defend the country against the Iran’s expansion and its ambitions in the region.
We say to such bodies and their supporters that Islah is a national party and deeply rooted by bonds of trust with the Yemeni people.
Islah will not shake its supportive position to the President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi and our brothers the Saudi-led coalition. Islah will remain present from Sa’ada to Aden and from Al-Mahra to Hodeida exercising its role within lines of the public and the resistance forces in support for the national army until Yemen is recovered from implications of the Iran’s intervention and separation proposals.
The party ignores all kinds of falsification and rumors , and focuses on the main objective towards the state retrieval.
Based on the above-mentioned, Islah, on the 29th anniversary of its establishment, would like to highlight the following issues:
First, Islah reaffirms the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) that stipulates formation of a federal state to ensure fair distribution of wealth and power among all the people of Yemen. This proposed state is to ensure rights protection, public interest, provide security and maintain liberties. It also enforces the rule of law and protects political pluralism. It regulates and controls resources. The existence of multiple militias and disagreement among political forces a challenge to implementation of the NDC outcome on the state formation. Weak state institutions and irregular work at these institution and lack of leadership are also another challenge to the federal state.
Islah also calls for the formation of a small Cabinet whose members are selected on the basis of partnership and national consensus, and according to their competence and integrity to be in charge of administering the phase stipulated by the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism. It also calls for exerting more efforts to fix the irregularities in the state’s civil and military institutions.
Second: The Islah party believes in the necessity and inevitability of giving political room to every Yemeni citizen; and ending the [unfounded] claims of representing the people, speaking on their behalf, and imposition of pre-determined choices in their name, which reproduce the tragedies of the past that have turned the country to a slogan whilst the people live under oppression, enslavement, and all forms of torture because of their intellectual convictions, political stances, or partisan activism. This should force us to think a thousand times about the danger of relying on arms to impose political choices.
Therefore , Islah warns of the attempts to undermine the system of political rights; practicing exclusion policies; forcing citizens to make imposed choices; or preventing them from the natural right to political participation. Islah considers all such practices a catastrophic setbacks of the gains and struggles, values of freedom and the principles of democracy. Islah also considers these practices a regression to the ages of individual, rural, regional, sectarian and sectarian hegemony, which our people had fought so much, and will not accept its re-imposition by any party and under any name.
Third: Islah sees the rebellion by the Southern Transitional Council in Aden today as only a reproduction of the same scenario that took place in Sana'a five years ago, which resulted in the fall of thousands of martyrs, wounded and disabled, and endured great devastation in all aspects of life. We do not want to experience that same tragedy happening again, albeit under different slogans. The core goal of them (the coups in Sana’a and Aden) is the same; undermining the state, hijacking the will of the people and trying to subjugate the people under the claims of representing them, while in fact using force in a chaotic manner, raiding their houses and homes, intimidating their families and spilling blood.
Such practices reflects an autocratic mindset that tampers with innocent people’s lives and sees the "other' as only an enemy who must be eliminated, no matter how civil and peaceful they are. It is in such way that we are encountering a state of aggression against the people and the homeland in the name of the fair Southern Cause. [The Southern Cause] is now being sabotaged and used by misusers to tear the social fabric and spawn rifts. The arms are even used in the interest of foreign interests, and the most victims are the people who will lose rights and interests, and miss services.
In this context, Islah affirms its belief in the fairness of the Southern Cause, which since 2007 has fought a peaceful struggle pressing human rights demands, earning the support of everybody. And after this cause was adopted by the inclusive National Dialogue Conference, the Yemeni people became the advocate of it, and therefore no one has the right to claim championing it solely or use it as a springboard, especially those who want to eliminate all the other stakeholders in the south and create an imaginary enemy to achieve their own goals.
Islah calls on all the reasonable people to save the situation, end the violence, submit to the state, allow the return of state institutions to service the public and ensure that efforts are freed up and united for the decisive battle with the Houthi coup.
Islah commends the position of the leadership of the Arab Coalition on August 10, 2019, as well as the statement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on September 5, 2019 regarding the events in Aden as positions that identify the problems and solutions, and develop a roadmap to end the rebellion and return all state institutions to the interim capital of Aden. The positions appeared consistent with the roles of the Kingdom's leadership, and highlighted the kingdom's ability to diagnose issues and tackle them accurately.
Any conduct beyond the prescribed tackling measures in those positions will exacerbate the crisis and undermine the battle to restore the state and end the coup.
Fourth: We in Islah reject and condemn the demonizing campaign used against Islah. We have seen how the ill campaigners turn the party's surpassing and patriotic stances and sacrifices such as the party's support to the government to controversies through which they seek to extort the party. Some often seek to twist facts, portraying Islah's strong support to the government as a pursuit of partisan interests. Here emerges the problem of those who judge things based on narrow partisan interests because they think that any solid national position must have a partisan motive behind it.
By supporting the government, Islah is sticking to the principle of the state. The support and strengthening of the government is one of the most important gains that are not only in favor of Islah, but for all the parties and all the people. And it is of course a gain above all the special gains. And Islah's pro-government attitude emanates, most of all, from the party's sense of national commitment.
In this context, Islah considers that the search for special partisan gains in these exceptional circumstances is sort of irrationality and political irresponsibility.
As Islah supports the last national bond (the state), the party's members have been subjected to physical elimination in the liberated areas for three years and not a single Islah member was allowed to stay in public job in Aden.
The persecution even escalated to closing the party's headquarters and to a campaign of serial assassination against the party's leaders and activists, a high price paid by Islah’s members as a result of their refusal to identify with projects that want to plunge the country into small conflicts that distract everyone from confronting the Houthis and hinder the state-building endeavor.
Fifth: We in Islah have and will continue to endeavor to consolidate the national cohesion and strengthen the state to the extent that it can carry out its historical tasks related to imposing stability and building a real and sustainable state of peace, and rebuilding the state on national bases that represent the citizen and serve it without regional or denominational appropriation.
Today, we are faced with an exceptional circumstance where everyone needs to get rid of the legacy of conflict and overcome secondary rivalries. Everyone needs every other and no one has value without the fellow stakeholders. Political partisan work is almost dysfunctional or may be completely stalled as a result of the collapse of the state. And there is no value for [military] preparedness outside the republican crowd or without it.
In countries suffering political turmoil and teardown of national unity, individual and competitive political action have no meaning, and no single political force, no matter how capable, can overcome the crisis by acting alone.
From this outlook, Islah recognizes that there is no way out of the state of social fragmentation and severe political division Yemen is going through, except through collective action on the basis of partnership and national consensus without exclusion and no domination at the expense of others. Therefore, Islah has and still been keen on the activation of the National Alliance of political parties as the most appropriate formula for uniting forces, and mobilizing energies to restore the state and overthrow the coup.
Islah emphasizes the need to leave the past, overcome hatreds, close political and social revenge issues and bridge the gaps of inter-conflict that enable Yemen's internal and external enemies to harm our present and future.
Sixth: We in Islah reaffirm our solid rejection of all kinds of extremism and terrorism in all its forms and names, and we emphasize the middle-of-the-roadism of Islah, an approach it has taken since its establishment.
At all stages the country went through, Islah continued to declare this attitude and support all efforts aimed at combating terrorism and has paid dearly for adopting this approach.
It also rejects and condemns the use of terrorism charge in political disputes to legitimize attacks against one another and to justify the physical elimination of actors who believe in political action, and accepted the principle of popular vote.
Based on this, Islah calls for convening a national conference on terrorism to come up with a solution that transcends the surface to the deep roots and provides comprehensive solutions that go beyond security measures to developing the necessary educational, cultural, economic and media plans to confront the phenomenon of terrorism and immunize society from it. To this time, Islah demands the security authorities to deal firmly and seriously with this threat and not to tolerate it, considering the fight against terrorism as the sovereign function of the state.
Seventh: Islah emphasizes the concern for Yemeni women, highlighting women's positive role in all fields, considering women as sisters of men and the need to protect them from the inferior view in our societies, and perverse ideas, and emphasizes the importance of caring for, preparing and raising young people, and the development of their mental and physical abilities to be able to contribute to building and uplifting Yemen.
Eighth: Since the Houthi coup and the launch of the Decisive Storm, Islah has been clear in supporting Arab Coalition and in the full partnership with the brothers in the Saudi-led coalition to topple the coup by all legitimate means and restore the state and extend its influence over all governorates, so that the Yemenis can build a federal state according to the decisions and outcomes of the National Dialogue. This has been proved in practice by the fall of many Islahis martyred, wounded, disabled, abducted, and detained.
Today, we reiterate that the liberation of Yemen from the Houthi coup and all that threatens the state existence in Yemen as much as it is a national Yemeni mission, it has become a national Arab strategy led by the Kingdom to protect the region from the threat of the expansionist Iranian agenda which is based on violence and terrorism, A strategy, we must support in. In this regard, we reiterate our appreciation of the Saudi-led Coalition for supporting the legitimate Yemeni government, and reaffirm the importance of deepening and consolidating Yemeni-Saudi relations as a strategic option that enhances the coherence of the two countries in various aspects, especially as the Kingdom represents the pillar of security and stability for Yemen and the region.
Ninth: Islah stresses the necessity of building the army and security on national bases that rise above the previous irregularities, and in accordance with the service laws in the military and security institutions and the outcomes of the National Dialogue, in order to ensure that these two institutions fulfill their constitutional and legal duty to protect institutions and gains; prevent the establishment of parallel military groups; and restore the people's confidence in the security and military institutions.
In this context, Islah applauds the national warriors who are performing heroically in confronting the Iranian theocratic Houthi agenda; and praises their great sacrifices in the battle to end the coup and restore the state and liberate Yemen. And we call upon the government to pay due attention and recognition to the sacrifices of these heroes. The families of the martyrs must be fully cared for, and the wounded and disabled should be cared for, and what they sacrificed for should be fulfilled.
Tenth: Based on the national and humanitarian principles that we exemplify, we in Islah condemn all attacks and human rights violations in the liberated areas, crimes of assassinations and abductions, torture of prisoners and restriction of freedoms and secret prisons, and call for a serious and decisive pause to stop these violations. And the government in the liberated areas shall present a positive role model in law enforcement, enforcing accountability of the aggressors and justice for the victims, as this represents a major entry point for security and stability. And we salute the steadfastness and patience of all political and civilian abductees and feel their pain and that of their families and demand their immediate release. We call on the international community and public verdict to pressure the Houthi militias to quickly release these people and resolve this complicated humanitarian dosser that haunts society.
Eleventh: We strongly condemn the UAE's bombing of the armed forces in Aden and Abyan governorates, which left hundreds of martyrs and wounded, and we reject the subsequent accusation of the army as terrorists. We consider this a deviation from the objectives of the Arab Coalition for supporting the government, call for a review of the irregularities that caused the delay of the military solution. We are confident in the ability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to contain the consequences of this aggression, end the state of rebellion in the interim capital Aden and ensure the return of the state with all its institutions to perform its functions fully and undiminished. In this context, we call for an investigation into all incidents of targeting civilians and to expose the claims promoted by the Houthis and call for guaranteeing the right of victims to equity.
Twelfth: While reaffirming our principled position in support of a comprehensive and lasting peace based on the three reference points ( the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, the outcomes of the inclusive National Dialogue and international resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 2216), we regret the negative role of the international community towards the intransigence of the Houthi militias who have chosen war and insist on its continuity. And the negative role toward the suffering of the people, which has become a hot commodity whereby the Houthis mislead the international community. The international community speaks about the suffering without reflecting on its causes, but goes beyond it to details that absolve the Houthis from blame, although they are the ones who triggered the war in quest of the "divine right" to rule, in a way that impedes any peace process.
The international community has shown leniency towards the Houthi refusal to implement UN resolutions. And the inaction towards the Houthi failure to honor the Swedish agreement is an explicit proof of this leniency despite proven Houthi aversion to peace. While the international efforts foiled the battle to restore Hodeidah to the government under the pretext of humanitarian concerns, such humanitarian concerns was missing when it comes to the (recent) Houthi issuance of mass execution sentences against 30 activists and academics.
Thirteenth: Islah asserts that the Palestinian cause takes center stage importance for our Arab and Islamic world and that it represents a real test for the conscience of the world. Islah stands in support of all the efforts of the Palestinian National Authority and with it all the national forces, especially Fatah and Hamas to reach a national agreement and a political alliance and achieve the highest goal of the Palestinian people in building their independent national state with Jerusalem as its capital.
In this regard, Islah strongly condemns and rejects the recent announcement by the chief of the Zionist entity unveiling his intentions to annex Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Islah considers that an escalation that violates the rights of the Palestinian people and violates the United Nations charters and the principles of international law. It calls the people of the region and the active interest groups to take an urgent action and unify positions on this serious challenge.
Finally, I avail myself of the opportunity to say to all Islahis (members of the Islah party) that our country needs your constructive efforts, and we must rise above the wounds and get them healed for the sake of the homeland; represent the values of tolerance and the spirit of dialogue and openness to all partners in the political and national struggle; we stress the importance of joint action to strengthen state institutions in liberated areas; exemplify the values of partnership; strengthen national unity; and promote stability in the country. We call on all Islahi activists to stay away from heated media exchanges, forgive abuses, return ill treatments in better manners, and endeavor impartially for the Greater Yemen.