American Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been part of the
Yemeni democratization process since the first national election in 1993.
In addition to encouraging democracy NGOs have been involved with election
observation, analysis, governance, strengthening the role of law and civil
society and insuring women’s political participation etc.
The international Foundation for Election System (IFES)
IFES has been active in Yemen since 1993, when the newly unified country
held its first multiparty parliamentary elections.
Since then, IFES has conducted two assessments in Yemen (1993 and 1996).
These assessments examined the political and legal environment in advance
May 1999, IFES and the SCER signed an agreement for long-term cooperation
in institution building and training. Since 1999, IFES has maintained a
field presence in Yemen and continued to provide technical assistance to
the SCER, the only permanent election commission in the Arab world.
- IFES continued to provide
technical assistance to the SCER to strengthen the SCER' s capacity to
organize and conduct technically sound, transparent, impartial
elections in conformity with Yemen's laws and international standards
for free and fair elections.
-IFES conducted a US Study tour for three (SCER) members to introduced
them to new methods for a more streamlined and transparent electoral
-Initiated a participatory analysis of the 2001 General Election Law
with the SCER to maintain momentum for comprehensive election law
-Conducted a technical observation of local council bi-elections
-In January 2003, the SCER
began female preparations for parliamentary elections scheduled for April
-IFES assistance in support of those elections included training,
logistics, and development of training manuals, and ballot design and
During the post- electoral period, IFES continued to provide the SCER with
technical advice and prepared a technical evaluation of the conduct of the
Parliamentary elections. This evaluation included a number of
recommendations aimed at improving the Yemeni electoral system.
-Continued Analysis of 2001 Election Law and Recommendations for Reform
-Conducted US Study Tour for SCER Commissioners
At the request of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER)
and the Yemen Ambassador to the US, IFES invited three senior SCER
representatives to Washington DC, and Los Angeles to study the US
electoral process. The participants included: Mr. Khaled Al-Sharif,
Chairman, SCER, Dr. Mohammed Al-Sayani, Head of Technical Sector, Eng.
Alawi Al-Mashoor, Head of Foreign Relations, and, Mr. Mohammed Al-Thabet,
Technical Secretary for the Chairman. The study tour took place in both
Waspington, DC and Los Angeles, CA from October 13-23, 2003. It also gave
the SCER the opportunity to establish priorities in coordination with IFES/Washington,
on future technical assistance activities as well as meet with key
partners at the State Department and USAID.
-Technical Observation of Parliamentary Bi-elections On December 11, 2003,
Yemen held by-elections at both the governorate and electoral district
level for local councils that are vacant because of death or resignation.
IFES has worked in close partnership with the SCER on the technical
development of these elections.
-IFES President Richard Soudriette visited Yemen from October 27-30. Mr.
Soudriette met with prominent Yemeni government representatives including
the President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh; Speaker of the Parliament and
head of Islah Sheik Abdullah Al- Ahmar; Dr Adulkareem Al_lriani, GPC; and
Minister of the Interior Rashad Al-Alimi. During these meetings, the
Yemenis thanked Mr. Soudriette for IFES' continued assistance as they move
forward in consolidating democracy in their country. Mr.
Soudriette also met with the US Ambassador Edmund J. Hull and USAID
representative Douglas Heisler to discuss USAID funded IFES activities in
depth as well as potential future activities such as the creation of
regional training center for election officials and election law reform.
Source: IFES quarterly Report October 1.December, 31
The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
NDI has been involved over the years through working with officials in the
government, Yemeni political parties and civil society to help
strengthening the democratic process and building democratic institutions.
For more information visit the following website www.ndi.org and
Republican Institute (IRI)
IRI is one of the primary international observation organizations that
monitored the 1993 legislative elections.
The (IRI) observation delegation report congratulated the Yemeni people,
‘’who for the first time, had exercised the right to freely choose their
national representatives. The report added that, the delegation was
particularly encouraged by the following accomplishments:
- The commitment of the
Yemeni people to the pluralistic process
- The enthusiasm of voters
- The commitment of the electoral at the national and local levels
- The formation and composition of the Supreme Electoral Commission
- The generally constructive role of the security forces
- The establishment of civic organizations interested in the electoral
- The development of an independent print media representing a wide
range of opinions
- The participation of women in the political process as voters and
Democratic countries and NGO’s have applauded Yemen for becoming seriously
committed and keen to effectively contribute with the international
community in deepening and disseminating human right and democracy values
and concepts in the region. The Yemeni government and the people of Yemen
appreciate the significant role of these institutions in promoting the
democratic development in Yemen.
In 2003, Freedom House has sent regional expert to Yemen to conduct a
survey and meet with political parties, associations, human rights
monitors, religious figures, academics and journalists to gain more
in-depth knowledge on Yemen's political transformations. In 2003, Freedom
House recognized Yemen's progress in political and civil liberties, and
upgraded Yemen to "partly free"; previously, it was categorized as "not
free" in Freedom House’s 2002 report.