Search

 

Cablegate: Elections: Charge Presses Freedom Agenda With

VZCZCXRO6341
RR RUEHDE
DE RUEHYN #1996 1931032
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
R 121032Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4613
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS E F T O SANAA 001996

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/11/2016
TAGS: PREL KDEM MEPI YE
SUBJECT: ELECTIONS: CHARGE PRESSES FREEDOM AGENDA WITH
PRESIDENT SALEH

1. (SBU/NF) SUMMARY: In an unexpected meeting called by
Saleh to discuss other issues (septel) on July 11, Charge
pressed Saleh on respecting the June agreement of principles
signed by the ruling party and the opposition. Charge
particularly emphasized that equal access to government-owned
media was not being implemented. Saleh defended himself by
saying it was natural for the media to cover him more because
of his official duties as Chief of State. He further noted
that the fact that 64 Yemenis had applied to the Parliament
to be presidential candidates was a clear sign of the ROYG's
commitment to democracy. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU/NF) At the end of a discussion that covered a wide
range of topics, Charge took the opportunity to tell Saleh
that implementation of the agreement reached between the
ruling party and the main opposition coalition in June is
important. He pointed out that one of the principles agreed
to -- equal access to government owned media, particularly
broadcast outlets -- is not being respected. Yemeni TV,
which has a monopoly on non-satellite broadcasts in Yemen,
airs long presidential speeches, Charge said, but accords
only a few moments to opposition candidates.

3. (SBU/NF) Saleh disagreed, saying that it was only natural
for the media to cover him more, because he is the President,
and carries out official duties, including the recent visit
he made to countries around the region. Charge replied that
this was not a valid argument, since this is an election
season, and every speech the President gives, no matter the
occasion, has political content. The main opposition
candidates should be given the same opportunity to make their
points.

4. (SBU/NF) The President then asked one of his advisors to
bring in a current copy of the government daily "Al-Thawra,"
which he opened to a page showing photographs of all 64
Yemenis who had submitted applications to Parliament to run
for the presidency. Displaying it to the Charge, he said,
"This is democracy -- there are even several women running.
In the United States, you only have two candidates, and we
have 64!"

5. (SBU/NF) COMMENT: The tone of the meeting was
light-hearted, but President Saleh received the Charge's
message, which we have repeated at all levels of the ROYG and
in a recent media statement, that the international community
will be watching to see if the ROYG respects the agreement
reached between the two main parties in order to give fair
and transparent elections a chance.

6. (SBU/NF) COMMENT CONTINUED: Government media outlets
certainly have progress to make in this regard.
"Al-Thawra's" June 25 edition dedicated virtually all of its
26 pages to Saleh's nomination "by acclimation," and even
added a 24-page insert filled with full-page ads from various
organizations thanking Saleh for accepting the nomination.
Yemeni TV and radio followed roughly the same script. The
main opposition candidate, by contrast, received only a
four-by-six inch, below-the-fold mention in "Al-Thawra" and
virtually no TV coverage. Post will continue to press this
point and others related to the elections, particularly after
Parliament gives its final approval to the list of candidates
-- which we expect to number no more than three or four.
Khoury

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: UN Strongly Condemns Knife Attack Inside Nice Church Which Left Three Dead

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his ... More>>

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

UN News: Millions Affected As Devastating Typhoon Strikes Viet Nam

A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country. There are also reports that 174 ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>