Faced with weeks of growing protests Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar reiterated the most cliched claim possible in the Middle East right now: he insisted his country is “not Tunisia or Egypt.”
His attempt to justify the claim when even a cursory examination suggests Yemen is more like Tunisia and Egypt than almost any other nation in the region, were incredible, including claims, apparently made with a straight face, that “Yemen is a democratic country.”
And of course Yemen has elections, but they are the same sort of “elections” that Egypt has been having, with a single party dominating the entire process and opposition factions put at such an enormous disadvantage as to make regime change impossible. Indeed, Yemen is even more of an “Egypt” situation than even Egypt is, with President Ali Abdullah Saleh holding power longer than Musharraf, and doing so for 22 years before he even bothered with his first election.
So far the Yemeni government’s pledges for reforms have been extremely minimal, with President Saleh promising not to run for reelection in 2013 and appearing to rule out a transfer to his son, but other than that no major moves having been made.
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