Written By: Observer Staff
Article Date: Nov 29, 2012 - 9:35:30 PM
Saleh with Benomar during a recent meeting in Sana'a.
The party of former president Saleh has refused the number of delegates assigned to it by the UN envoy for the National Dialogue Conference. Former president Saleh said the current seats assigned to his party by Benomar for the Dialogue is “unacceptable”, as reached by the party meeting hours ago, said Saleh’s media advisor.
Ahmed al-Sofi said “The current distribution makes the GPC a minority which is unacceptable,” he said, after ending a meeting of the GPC senior leaders regarding the matter.
“Our stand (from the delegates) won’t be determined until the seats assigned to the NGOs and the standards for representation of those NGOs are defined. There’s also president’s [Hadi] share [62 seats],” said al-Sofi.
Al-Sofi said that the 182 seats, assigned to Youth, women with 40 for each, as well as Hadi’s share of 62, is still “questionable”.
But al-Sofi said that if Hadi allocates his share to his party, and the other seats assigned to NGOs are defined “then it’s reasonable.”
He said that there’s going to be further discussion and meetings which will determine the distribution.
Al-Sofi denied that Saleh refused to meet Benomar, as reported in local media, for his party cited grievances over the distribution. “He [Saleh] was ill but eventually he met with Benomar before he left for the airport,” al-Sofi said.
Jamal Benomar, the UN special envoy to Yemen, announced last Wednesday the allocation of seats of all the political parties which will take part in the conference to discuss constitutional reforms ahead of the parliamentary and presidential election scheduled for 2014.
The Technical Committee tasked with preparing the conference had asked Benomar to allocate the seats for the different groups after it failed to reach an agreement.
The agreement gave Saleh’s party, the General People’s Congress (GPC) and its allies 112 seats out of 565 assigned for all the other parties.
GPC had initially refused the idea of Benomar distributing the seats.
The Southern Movement, seeking separation from the north, was given 85 seats after they had refused to participate in the conference which is set to convene on 15 November.
Islah Party, the main former opposition party now leading the government, had 50 seats and President Hadi had 62 vacant seats to nominate.
Benomar said that all parties in Technical Committee agreed to total southern representation of 50 percent of seats.
The conference will mark the important second phase of the U.S.-backed GCC deal which was signed last year.
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