Speech delivered by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to mark the 49th anniversary of the 26 September revolution.
This was the first speech delivered by Saleh after his return from Saudi Arabia where he had been recovering following an assassination attempt.
Source: Presidential website
25 September 2011. Full text
Great Yemeni people inside and outside Yemen, congratulations to you on the 49th anniversary of the great 26 September Revolution; this humanist revolution against injustice, ignorance, poverty, and backwardness. It is indeed a humanist revolution. We congratulate the people of this nation on this great occasion.
We are celebrating the 49th anniversary of the 26 September revolution while our dear nation is passing through a critical and vital stage that has been ongoing for over a year. It was mainly obvious during the past few months, prior to and following the criminal terrorist attack against the presidential palace mosque that took place on 03 June. Those criminal terrorist attacks were carried out by irresponsible elements who are concerned with chasing power, looting wealth, disrupting public tranquility and intimidating citizens in neighbourhoods, cities and streets.
The elements were also responsible for the terrorist incidents that occurred during those months and weeks, which included attacks on the military camps in Nahm, Bani Hashish and Arhab and the security in Taiz and the 25th Mechanized Brigade in Abyan. This latter heroic, steadfast, and brave brigade alongside the pure, loyal people of Abyan confronted the terrorists and inflicted heavy losses on them in cooperation with brothers and friends, namely the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to our brothers in Saudi Arabia and our friends in the United States for cooperating with us against the terrorist elements in al-Qaeda, who are fully supported by outlawed elements that do not believe in constitutional legitimacy. The latter elements provided the al-Qaeda elements with information and supported them financially and militarily.
However, our brave steadfast people, who were steadfast during the 1970 battle against the forces of backwardness, ignorance, and disease, were also steadfast in this dangerous stage against the economic, cultural, and social crisis, and opposed the roots, promoters, and beneficiaries of the crisis, namely the merchants of war and politics and those who extort the nation's wealth such as companies, institutions, and interests.
I clearly recall the events that took place following the criminal act against the presidential palace mosque, namely intimidation that targeted all of the nation's people and the repercussions that enormously affected various economic aspects, especially fuel, power outage and food supply.
Yet, thanks go to Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Abdullah, UAE President Khalifah Bin-Zayid and Crown Prince Shaykh Mohammad Bin-Zayid Al-Nuhayyan for their support and for responding to the calls for aid launched by Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to supply us with fuel that brought life back to Yemen, which it made it possible for us to generate power, supply people with water, and helped us in various fields. For that, I extend thanks to the brothers who helped us in such difficult circumstances.
This is a critical crisis that necessitates politicians and dignitaries to review their stances and benefit from lessons learnt from the events that have taken place in the past months, including killing, destruction of property, and attacking government institutions, looting, and intimidating people. In addition to the attacks that targeted citizens in neighbourhoods and the looting of their properties, jewellery shops and grocery stores in the streets of Hayil, Kentucky, and Al-Qa'a, where they attacked the branch of the electricity authority - what do you want from a service institution? You set it on fire, what did this institution do to you?
Dear brothers the citizens,
What is the purpose behind your continuous attempts to seize power, we have repeatedly discussed peaceful transition of power through ballot boxes, and today we reiterate that we are committed to the GCC initiative, its implementation as is, and its signing, something that we had entrusted Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to do as per a presidential decision that is still effective. Hadi is authorized to carry out dialogue and sign the initiative and its implementation mechanism to save the nation from this great impasse and to move forward towards dialogue, understanding, and peaceful transfer of power through ballot boxes and early presidential elections as per the GCC initiative.
I would like to add to what was mentioned in the GCC initiative and say that we should hold full elections on the presidential, parliamentary, and local levels if we reach an agreement with the opposition, and if not, then we are still committed to the GCC initiative. We affirm to the brothers who issued their statement following the GCC foreign ministers meeting, that we are ready to cooperate to implement the initiative, in response to statements issued by the White House, the United Nations, and the European Union, who supported us when we issued a decree authorizing the Vice President to hold dialogue with the Joint Meeting Parties, and its allies and also backed the initiative. We thank them for that and we affirm that we are committed to the decision that was issued authorizing the Vice President with all powers.
Dear brothers the citizens,
We were supposed to be heading towards construction and reconstruction and not towards scaring and intimidating citizens, children, and women. Why? Is it because you are chasing power? This is not acceptable; you can simply wait until power comes to you.
I came from Riyadh after spending 112 days of treatment under the patronage of the custodian of the two holy mosques. Praise be to God my health is fine and I will continue my treatment in the forthcoming months.
However, power is still delegated to the Vice President, the government, state institutions, and local authorities. The decision is not in the hands of one person but in the hands of all people who love this nation.
Those who are chasing power, let us all head towards the ballot boxes, for we are against coups and with legitimate demands, whether from parties or youth.
For the youth, you are only victims that were forced into wars and led to the front lines, while armed crews opened fire and killed security forces in the streets. You are only victims used by those elements. I only wish that those elements push you forward to the forefront and not force you into wars. I am saddened by statements issued by some international bodies calling on the government to self-regulate, why do they not urge the ones who are looting public and private properties to adhere to law and order.
The Yemeni constitution grants citizens the right to demonstrate and gather in a peaceful manner and not by means of violence and terrorism similar to what happened in the presidential palace and the camps in Arhab and Abyan.
Yes, let us negotiate and hold talks. Every problem has a solution. Let us hold dialogue without bloodshed. Why is there a need to shed blood? You will reach the seats of power after passing through a river of blood, power will not accept you and the Yemeni people will not accept you to be rulers if you are responsible for bloodshed.
What is injustice? This is the exact meaning of injustice, it is when you force citizens into wars and intimidate them, when you disrupt peace in their homes and neighbourhoods and prevent them from attending schools and universities due to your terrorism and intimidation. If you are terrorizing citizens while out of power, how do you expect Yemenis to entrust you with authority, security, the army, and power? You are terrorizing citizens while you have nothing in your hand except violence and terrorism.
Salute to the people of the September and October Revolutions, salute to the people inside and outside Yemen, salute to all women, men, and children everywhere.
Allow me on this occasion, which is precious to the hearts of men, women, military personnel, and civilians to thank the members of the brave armed and security forces who are sacrificing the best of their officers and soldiers everyday for the sake of the revolution, republic, freedom and democracy.
Salute goes to you. I pray God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs and I wish speedy recovery to the wounded.
I console myself, the people, and the family of the late Abdul- Aziz Abdul-Ghani, the honest brave man who was martyred for the sake of the nation in the criminal attack on the presidential mosque, where we were present to partake in the Friday noon prayers. Who was behind the attack? God knows and you know who they are. Investigations will eventually reveal the identities of the perpetrators and the conspirators.
I wish our people victory, steadfastness and success.