Yemen’s Government, Opposition Trade Accusations over Polls
Yemen’s ruling General People's Congress (GPC) and several opposition parties traded accusations Wednesday over Tuesday’s polls in the country’s municipal elections and a referendum to extend the mandate of president and MPs, said reports.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh's GPC called for the election commission to "set up an investigation into 132 incidents provoked by opposition parties to hold up voting in various polling stations on Tuesday," said AFP.
The trouble was caused by "extremist elements" in the Islamic reform party Al-Islah, the Yemen Socialist Party and the Nasserite Unionist Party, "attacking numerous electoral committees, using weapons, physical violence and threats," the GPC said in a statement, quoted by the agency.
But opposition parties launched a counterattack.
They claimed that there had been irregularities and rigging, said the BBC.online.
They also called for new local elections and another referendum to be held with independent monitors, said the news service.
Several opposition parties said they intend to go to court over the polls, said the BBC.
The Socialist Party's Secretary General, Jarallah Omar, said the elections had not been fair because all state mechanisms had been mobilized to block the opposition.
The election authorities said there were more than one-hundred violent incidents at polling stations, leaving at least six people dead in clashes between supporters of rival parties.
Other reports put the number of dead as high as thirteen, said the BBC.
The election commission said Wednesday that preliminary results indicated that a majority of Yemenis had voted to extend the mandates of the president and MPs in a referendum and for the ruling party in the country's first local elections since unification – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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