Tuesday, September 26, 2006

'An open and genuine contest' - EU

Yemen's President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, pictured right, ended up taking 77% of the vote in last week's elections - a percentage still in any dictator's comfort zone but a significant drop from the 96% he polled last time around. If he haemorrhages another 20% in the next seven years, the next election promises to be an interesting one.

What's interesting is that the EU monitors who observed the election have produced a contradictory preliminary statement which describes the election as 'an open and genuine contest', in one breath and then identified 'a number of important shortcomings' in the next. Apparently it's only observers from the United Arab Emirates (whose view matters, since the UAE is the most prominent supporter of Yemen's hope of joining the Gulf Cooperation Council) who have questioned the validity of the poll.

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