July 24, 2011

Popular Support Builds for Yemen’s Transitional Council

After intense deliberation within the council and its partners, Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC) has declared its full support for the transitional council announced by Tawakel Karman. A coalition of youth groups have debated their response to Karman and the Joint Meeting Parties' (JMP) ensuing “National Revolutionary Council” throughout the week, ultimately accepting strength in numbers. The core of CCYRC’s statement reads as follows:
“Due to our national duty and our determination to achieve all the goals of the popular youth revolution, and for the escalation to resolve the revolution including the formation of a "Transitional Council" as one of the demands by all of the revolutionary components in Change and Freedom Squares, we, in the Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change have worked on mechanisms and collected the necessary information to form the Transitional Council in cooperation and coordination with all the revolutionary components in the different Squares of Yemen in order to lift the country from the political vacuum.

In the midst of the ongoing efforts with the national components of declaring a transitional council, a draft of a Presidential Transitional Council was formed on July 16th 2011 by one of the active partners in the Square. Despite the reservation of a number of revolutionary components on the mechanisms of declaring it, we, in the CCYRC made the effort to communicate with the members of the proposed Transitional Council inside and outside of Yemen. We touched their complete willingness to take on this historical responsibility in this stage that requires the unity of the revolution...”
The immediate question now shifts to the Transitional Council’s next moves, specifically whether the council aims to challenge the JMP or merge into its political leadership. Considering pre-existing overlap between the street movement, JMP and tribal authorities - Karman herself belongs to Islah, a component of the JMP - it is not inconceivable that the JMP would be given one last chance to break from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) initiative. As the situation stands, the majority of Yemenis revolutionaries consider the Transitional Council only a “step forward in the correct revolutionary path.”

This line references the JMP’s repeated negotiations with Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, along with GPC and U.S. attempts to brand their revolution as a “political crisis.”

It is vital to preemptively clarify (if the U.S. media doesn’t ignore Yemen’s developments) that the Transitional Council doesn’t seek a negotiated settlement with the regime. On the contrary, a popular Transitional Council will be tasked with forging sufficient national and international authority to overthrow the regime. A clash with the JMP is unavoidable if the coalition refuses to scrap its approval of the GCC’s “power transfer,” which its own members occasionally denounced over the past month. The creation of a national council should remove the JMP’s signature from the GCC’s draft.

Yemen’s revolutionaries know that the GCC’s road leads backwards, to Riyadh and Washington instead of Sana’a, and that international legitimacy should come from their own support. The only dialogue they are concerned with is an internal dialogue to “find consensus and unanimity, and repair any shortcomings and bridge the gaps.” Yemen’s Transitional Council represents the first platform to true self-determination.

Its revolutionaries must unite at this critical moment, because the international community will provide all the resistance they can handle.

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