April election for Yemen

by Brian Whitaker

Originally published in The Guardian, 6 November 1992

POLITICAL leaders in Yemen yesterday set a date for the first multi-party elections. Fifty-four parties will fight for 301 seats in the new parliament on April 27 next year. The elections will be the first under universal suffrage in the Arabian Peninsula and may increase pressure for democracy among autocratic sheikhdoms.

The move comes a day after tensions between the two ruling parties, the Socialists and the General People's Congress, eased with the return of Vice-President Ali Salim Al-Baid to Sana'a from self-imposed exile.