SANA’A, July 31 — Competition has begun between opposition parties to gain public support for either a National Council or a Transitional Council. Both councils are supposed to represent anti-government protesters nationwide.
In Al-Baida governorate, 14 members withdrew from a meeting of the National Council and announced a preparatory committee for the revolutionary leadership council, which is an expansion of the Transitional Council in Sana’a.
The National Council including the coalition of opposition political parties, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), along with the National Committee for Dialog headed by Hameed Al-Ahmeer, promised to announce its members within 18 days of July 20. Secretly, opposition leaders are choosing six members from each governorate, three that are independent and three who are JMP members. The criteria for membership is not clear yet.
The National Council came as an alternative proposal to the Transitional Council formed by activist Tawakul Karman, who announced the members of the Transitional Council without informing them. The Transitional Council has not taken steps on the ground as yet, although many anti-government protesters were happy of its creation as a step in escalating protests.
“We are getting confused. We wanted to have the regime withdraw and finish the revolution by now, but by every party is thinking of their own interests and fame, which has made finishing the revolution hard to accomplish,” said one of the anti-government protesters.
The National Council is attempting to be more comprehensive and representative than the Transitional Council that consists only of 17 well-known national figures. But the National Council has not included the Houthis who have been a main player in the anti-government movement since February. The Transitional Council is now trying to represent more people by creating preparation committees for revolutionary leadership in other governorates.
Political analyst, Ahmed Al-Zurqa, said that the JMP is trying to gain international and local support for their actions by forming the National Council, while Tawakul is more concerned with the revolution and needed some action for escalation purposes.
“The ideas behind the national or the transitional council are not yet clear. They should have worked together and unified their efforts for the country’s best interests and not personalized the revolution to gain more interest for themselves,” said Al-Zurqa.
Other players in the game include a tribal coalition headed by Shiekh Sadeq Al-Ahmer, head of Hashid confederation of tribes that announced their solidarity with the peaceful youth revolution on March 19.
The tribal coalition vowed to protect protesters and to support the Arhab tribes that are currently fighting the state just north of Sana’a. One of the goals of the coalition is to maintain the unity of Yemen.
Al-Ahmer said that Yemen’s tribes are looking forward to a civil state, as the tribes “get bored” of being armed and having to carry their weapons all the time.
The tribes warned against any assault against the protesters, saying that any violence would require a reaction from their side. They said that they would use all means to stop an attack against protesters, even if cost their money or lives, indicating their readiness for war if required. They also called on the regime to immediately stop using its forces and military assets against the Yemeni people.
Al-Ahmer vowed that president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been hospitalized in a Saudi hospital in Riyadh since an assassination attempt against him on June 4, will only renter Yemen “over Al-Ahmer’s dead body”. Al-Ahmer added that he was not aiming for Saleh’s position and that the presidency should only be taken by the best qualified person.