Yemen Offers South Equal Representation in ‘National Dialogue’ Meeting

Insist Separatists Will Be Given 'Good Number of Seats'

by Jason Ditz, November 26, 2012

Eager to give the event at least a veneer of legitimacy, Yemeni officials say they have reserved half of the 565 seats at a “national dialogue” meeting to different factions from South Yemen, including a “good number” to separatist factions.

No date has been set for the meeting, which is mandated as part of the “transition” deal which secured Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s election as president in a single-candidate election. Exactly what the meeting will entail is also vague.

The meeting is supposed to be related somehow to reconciliation and the penning of a new constitution, but seems chiefly aimed at legitimizing the UN-backed plan to keep Hadi in power going forward.

The UN seems more eager than anyone to ensure the south takes part in the deal, but many secessionist movements don’t see a future for a Sanaa-dominated Yemen to begin with, and don’t seem likely to be attracted by an offer of seats at such a conference if it means abandoning their secessionist goals.

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