Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi: The Silent President?

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A woman holds a ballot paper with a photo and name of Yemen's Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as she casts her vote during the presidential elections at a polling station in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden 21 February 2012. (Photo: REUTERS - Khaled Abdullah)

By: Jamal Jubran

Published Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi spent 18 years in the shadows, exercising his role as an “unemployed vice president,” before the Gulf initiative paved the way for him to assume the presidency of Yemen.

Sanaa – Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi understood the path that was planned out for him very well. He quietly maintained his position as vice president since 1994.

People knew the former military man from his modest civilian uniform and his stable, calm positioning to the left of President Ali Abdallah Saleh at ceremonial occasions they attended together.

He is described as a “good man” because people had never heard that he wronged anyone or stole money. But they also know that he never did a good political deed, possibly because people know he had no real power to begin with.

It was clear that Hadi had embraced and adapted to his role throughout the 18 years that he spent as an “unemployed” vice president.

But the picture is different today. His formal confirmation as president of Yemen is just around the corner. He is set to lead the country for a two-year transitional term.

Research analyst Ahmad Obayd suggested that Hadi never believed he would actually exercise his role as vice president or have any influence in the Yemeni political decision-making process.

Obayd told Al-Akhbar that it could take many months for Hadi to “adapt and be able to show practical performance consistent with his new role as president.”

But Afrah Saleh, another Yemeni political analyst, sees the new president from a different perspective. She said that the man was never really tested and it is difficult to predict how he will adapt to the new situation as ruler of Yemen.

She added that the coming days will demonstrate his leadership capabilities, which he was deprived of while working in the shadow of former President Saleh’s absolute control.

Nabil Abduh, a university lecturer, said that having been sidelined for so long “does not at all mean that he is not a leader of high caliber, due to his British military education.”

Abduh said that Hadi refused to clash with Saleh from the moment he was certain that Saleh was leaving his position and that he would be his replacement.

“He succeeded in dealing with the new situation without directly clashing with Saleh or any of his relatives in the ruling authority,” Abdo said.

“Hadi continually expressed his reluctance to replace Saleh, and with time, he started to change his tone, announcing that if Saleh steps down, he would remain Hadi’s point of reference,” he added.

But the situation completely changed after Saleh signed the Gulf initiative last November, which required the president to step aside and hand over power to Hadi.

“This is when Hadi’s tone changed completely, as he insisted against Saleh’s interference in the transitional government negotiations,” Abduh explained.

Yahya al-Thari, a Yemeni researcher, referred to the same incident, saying that Hadi left in protest a politburo meeting of the General People’s Congress (GPC), which had convened to discuss the names of party members in the transitional government.

Al-Thari said that Saleh “insisted on a specific name for defense minister instead of Muhammad Nasser Ahmad, who is close to Hadi. But Hadi’s candidate triumphed in the end and Ahmad’s name emerged in the new government formation.”

Therefore, the man may not be as soft as the public views him. It now seems that he was just waiting for the right moment to come of out of his shell and show his leadership abilities.

A GPC member and former government official close to the incoming president said that Hadi has an “extraordinary ability to listen and rarely talks, preferring to listen to different views – contrary to Saleh’s nature, who loved to hear his own voice in all the gatherings he attended.”

But Saleh al-Hamedi, a member of the youth revolution protesting in Sanaa’s Change Square, does not agree with the rosy picture presented by Hadi’s friends.

He said that their portrayal of his leadership capacities are accurate, considering he could not show any of these qualities throughout his vice presidency.

Al-Hamedi said that Hadi is exploiting the regional and international support for him and is certain that Saleh can no longer hurt him. “Simply put, this is purely opportunistic behavior,” he said.

Al-Hamedi also referred to “Hadi’s silence when Saleh’s security forces killed young people throughout the revolution,” adding that “he never took a positive position” toward the revolution.

“This issue puts him at odds with the revolution and its youth,” he said, adding, “Therefore, he cannot possibly be on their side now.”

Another young activist, Muhammad al-Ofayri, suggested reading into Hadi’s recent trip to the United States, noting that “it was a visit aimed at securing American blessings for him to become the next Yemeni president.”

Al-Ofayri also questioned what compelled Hadi not to show up at Saleh’s signing ceremony of the Gulf initiative. He suggested that “the US administration did not want the baptism of the next Yemeni president to take place in Saudi Arabia.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Comments

I do think that Abd-Rabbu Mansour was one of the best leader that the world has ever seen even though he is silent in his manner he is alert in performing his task as a good leader. Keep up this good posthow to lose fat fast

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