Yemeni presidential election, 2006
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politics and government of
Presidential elections were held in Yemen on 20 September 2006, alongside local elections. Incumbent president Ali Abdullah Saleh of the General People's Congress received 77% of the vote, defeating opposition coalition candidate Faisal Bin Shamlan.
Sadeh had been president of modern Yemen since its reunification in 1990, and had previously been president of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 to 1990. He became Yemen's first directly elected president in 1999, winning more than 96% of the vote. On 17 July 2005, Saleh announced that he would not run for presidency in the 2006, later reconfirming his decision on 21 June 2006 when addressing fellow party members. His announcement sparked demonstrations urging Saleh to reverse his decision, as well as demonstrations urging Saleh to follow through with his decision. However, while addressing tens of thousands of supporters in Sana'a on 24 June 2006, Saleh rescinded his earlier decision stating "I comply with the people's pressure and upon the people's desire; I will run in the coming polls." This was not the first time Saleh has reversed the decision to not run, as he had previously done so prior to the 1999 elections.
The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) opposition coalition was formed in 2002 by al-Islah, the Yemeni Socialist Party, the Party of Truth, the Unionist party, and the Popular Forces Union. On 2 July 2006 Faisal Bin Shamlan was named as the alliance's candidate. Prior to the reunification of South and North Yemen in 1990, Shamlan had been the Minister of Infrastructure and Oil in the socialist government of South Yemen.
Ahmad al-Majeedi of the Yemeni Socialist Party also contested the elections. However, as he announced his candidacy before consulting with the party's leadership, his membership of the party was frozen and he was accused of working for the ruling GPC.
On 12 September 2006, at least 51 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a stampede broke out in a stadium packed with thousands of supporters of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The stadium exceeded its capacity of around 10,000 with a crowd that included government workers and students brought in on government buses.
Election day was marked by some violence; according to the opposition, eight people died in clashes. Khaled Hassan, an opposition Nasserist candidate running in the municipal elections, was killed in a clash with ruling party supporters in Taiz province.
Election officials said that about five million people voted out of around 9.2 million eligible voters. The opposition disputed early results showing Saleh with 82% of the vote, saying that the count gave Saleh 60% and Bin Shamlan 40%; it also claimed there had been electoral violations. The European Union Election Observation Mission called the election "an open and genuine contest", but with "important shortcomings". It said that at some polling stations there was intimidation, violation of voter secrecy, campaigning by the GPC, and underage voting.
Subsequent results, with most (17,000 out of 27,000) of the ballot boxes counted, continued to give Saleh an overwhelming majority, with 3.4 million votes against 880,000 for Bin Shamlan. The opposition, continuing to allege fraud, threatened a massive protest.
Final results on 23 September showed Saleh with 77.2% of the vote and Bin Shamlan with 21.8%. Bin Shamlan subsequently accepted the results as a "reality", although he said that they did not reflect the people's will. Saleh was sworn in for his new term on 27 September.
|Ali Abdullah Saleh||General People's Congress||4,149,673||77.17|
|Faisal Bin Shamlan||Joint Meeting Parties||1,173,075||21.82|
|Fathi Mohammed al-Azab||Independent||24,524||0.46|
|Yassin Abdo Saeed No'aman||National Opposition Council||21,642||0.40|
- "Bowing out?". Al-Ahram Weekly. 21–27 July 2006.
- ""It’s not a political ploy," says President Saleh". Yemen Times. 21 June 2006.
- "Yemeni president to stand again". BBC News. 24 June 2006.
- "Yemen president seeks another run". Al Jazeera. 24 June 2006.
- "Nephew of presidential candidate gunned down". Yemen Times. 30 August 2006.
- Ahmed Al-Haj (12 September 2006). "51 killed in stampede at Yemeni rally". Associated Press.
- "Yemen president leads vote count", BBC News, 21 September 2006.
- "Yemeni municipal elections candidate killed south of capital", Associated Press, 20 September 2006.
- "Yemen president leads in election polls", Al Jazeera, 21 September 2006.
- Donna Abu-Nasr, "Yemeni Opposition Alleges Violations", Associated Press, 21 September 2006.
- Donna Abu-Nasr, "Yemeni Opposition Threatens Protest", Associated Press, 2 September 2006.
- "Saleh re-elected president of Yemen", Al Jazeera, 23 September 2006.
- "Saleh sworn in for another term", Gulf Times (Qatar), 28 September 2006.