To explore the realities and possibilities of the peaceful transmission of power, the Arab Thought Forum (ATF) organizes public debate on the issue on October 18th, 2006.
The debate was based on the Yemen election conducted on 20th September, 2006. An Arab delegation composed of fourteen members participated in observing the election, five Palestinians took part in this delegation.
Four members of the delegation participated in the debate including Hisham Khalil, the executive director of the Palestinian Central committee, Taleb Awad, an activist in election and Ahmad Rwiady the program officer of ATF. The debate was moderated by Abdel Rahman Abu Arafeh the director of ATF.
In concluding the debate, the participants made the following observations. Although Yemen witnesses a very competitive presidential election, the tribal factor and entrenched government power had a great influence on the result. The election process was conducted fairly, however the 77 percent obtained by President Abdeallah Saleh was anticipated, and it is hard to believe if the election process would be fairly possible if a chance existed for a competitive candidate.
Compared with the Palestinian case, although actual transformation of power took place without difficulties, the aftermath was problematic due to the interference of foreign countries, that choose to punish the Palestinian people for their democratic choice, thus unstable circumstances were created making it like impossible for the new government to assume duties.