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Al-Maweri's Theory on Yemen

Muneer al-Maweri who is an exiled Yemeni political analyst and a bit of an expert when it comes to presidential maneuvering, has been warning against what he believes to be the president secret plan.  According to him, Saleh is following the same pattern he has for his entire political career: to rule by deception.

While holding a speech in Washington DC, he said that it was his belief that the Yemeni President was following a tactic of procrastination and stalling. He added that Saleh was determined to remain in power for the rest of his life and to ensure that his legacy would live on through his son and heir Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Stage One

Saleh would work at convincing the GCC as well as the international community that he needed no less than a month to enact a peaceful transition of power. The recipient of his presidential mandate would of course be his faithful deputy.

According to al-Maweri, Saleh wants to ensure that coming May,22sd he will still be the acting President. This date is of extreme importance for Yemen as it marks the unification of the country.

The idea is to mobilize a vast number of supporters, as he has done over the past weeks, and instruct them to publicly refuse his resignation.

Even if this scenario seems a bit farfetched, it is important to note that the same tactic was used a few years ago when Saleh announced that he was not going to run for the next elections. The grieving nation came to manifest its sorrow and Saleh agreed to stay on…

Stage Two

Once granted his few weeks, the President intends to concentrate all his energy into dismantling the opposition as well as the pro-democracy movement. He will infiltrate the various groups and create dissensions and discords between them. A typical “divide to conquer” tactic; if it was good enough for the Romans why not a Yemeni dictator?

What the President wants, is to discourage the protesters, break their momentum and eventually force them to abandon their positions in the Square of Change.

Ultimately he wants to show the World on May 22sd, that his supporters are greater in number than those who oppose him.

Stage Three

It is what al-Maweri calls the “camouflage plan”. While appearing to comply with the terms of the GCC agreement, Saleh would arrange for his son Ahmed to step down from his role as the head of the Republican guards in favor of Major General Ali Saleh al-Ahmar. The General is not only the President’s brother but also a long time supporter of the regime.

Saleh would then deal with the two men who have been throughout recent years a thorn in his thigh: Yehia Saleh and Ammar Saleh, his nephews. Commander Abdulmalik al-Tayeb would take over Yehia’s role as the head of the Security forces and the Ali al-Anisi would continue to supervise the National Security Agency but without being under the orders of Ammar Saleh.

Al-Maweri went on to explain that the two have been a source of worry for the dictator for quite some time as their influence have grown outside his presidential control. The recent turns of events are offering him the perfect opportunity to get rid of them.

The President is hoping that this move will appease the people, showing them that he is willing to minimize the influence of his family within the circle of power (for the time being anyway).

Al-Maweri pointed out as well that by excluding his son, the President is only trying to reestablish his grip on the State. According to the analyst, Ahmed has become a political liability in Saleh’s eyes.  

With the inheritance project in severe jeopardy, the President feels that his son eagerness to engage into an open conflict with al-Ahmar tribe could precipitate the end of the regime, and in that commits actual political suicide.

In his speech, al-Maweri further pointed out that if indeed the President intended to resign from his seat, given the international guarantees of non-prosecution, he had no reason to stall the process. But if as he feared, his intentions were only to gain time while setting his plan in motion, then the “time required” made sense.

Al-Maweri called on the Youth Movement to continue its mobilization against the regime and he encouraged them to further destabilize the state’s institutions by refusing all negotiations. He stressed out that Saleh would only leave if forced to.

Finally he said that if immunity should be granted it should be in favor of all those officers and soldiers still under the control of the President as it would encourage them to defect and support the revolutionary movement.



Catherine Shakdam

Although French by birth, my studies and my professional life led me to live for many years in the United Kingdom and in the Middle East.
Armed with a Master in Finance, a Bachelor degree in Psychology and 5 languages under my belt I managed to make my way through the maze of the Trading World of Wall Street, as an equity consultant. However, my interest for Politics and the Middle East gave me the necessary push to launch me as a "writer". Since then, I have voiced my opinions via my Blog and various publications such as the Middle East Post, the Guardian UK, and now Foreign Policy Association. I currently live in London.