Intensified security measures as Yemenis going to polls
Yemenis are going to the polls for parliamentary elections Sunday, amid fears of violence which has marred previous elections.
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday that he hopes the vote will be violence-free. "It is unacceptable for any political party or individual to mess with security and break the law. Any party or individual will be held accountable for breaking the law," Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters before the vote.
In the past, electoral debates have degenerated into armed clashes between rival tribes.
Last week, the polling process was temporarily halted in the northern province of Omran, after a gun battle between followers of rival politicians left several people injured.
More than eight million men and women are eligible to vote for some 1,200 candidates. There are 301 seats in Yemen's parliament.
The polls are supervised by 175 international observers and thousands of Yemeni monitors. Some 100,000 soldiers have been ordered to maintain security during voting. "We will stop the election process in any district marred by violence," Saleh said.
The Interior Ministry said it would prosecute anyone found carrying a weapon inside polling stations or buildings where election-related activities take place.
The president's General People's Congress party is inclined to dominate the vote, followed closely by the Islamic Reform Party and the Socialist party. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)