Ten conditions for National Dialogue
The Houthis set ten conditions for entering “the national dialogue”
The Houthis have expressed their willingness to enter the national dialogue to be launched in Yemen. They have, however, set conditions that they indicated were sound foundations and rules for the dialogue. These guidelines do not allow for the dialogue’s direction to be imposed either from inside or outside Yemen, which would negate the substance of the dialogue and hijack the convictions of the participants. The Houthis’ conditions include:
Based on the fundamentals of the people’s revolution and the national interest, and out of loyalty to the dear blood that was shed to overthrow the oppressive regime and build a just civil state: we present this vision which, we believe, represents a foundation for a true dialogue, one that ensures that the revolution’s goals be met and the intense suffering of the Yemeni people be alleviated.
We do not reject the language of dialogue; rather, we consider it to be a sound method if used properly and without its course being dictated by forces inside or outside the country. That sort of imposition violates the principles of dialogue and partnership, negating the substance of the dialogue while hijacking the convictions of others.
Based on that and on the deliberations between political forces and representatives of elements of the revolution in Saada province from May 3 to May 5, 2012, we present the following vision:
1. The need for the revolution to continue, not to end with the dialogue. The continuation of the revolution is both a necessity and a guarantee that the revolution’s objectives be achieved. This must happen amid continued efforts by foreign forces and their agents within the country to steer events and impose a political agenda, taking into account only those foreigners’ interests and hijacking the revolution’s objectives and the demands and interests of the people.
2. The preparation in advance of an atmosphere conducive to the dialogue through the following:
a. An admission by the forces involved in the war against the South and the Northern provinces that the war was a mistake, that those regions’ causes were just, and that Taiz and Tehama were oppressed, as well as any rights consequent to those admissions.
b. A halt to inflammatory rhetoric and sectarianism, as well as an end to all wars and to attacks on rallies, demonstrations and other peaceful activities.
c. The impartiality and patriotism of state media such that it deals equally with all parties in its objective presentation of the facts. It should not be inclined toward one party against another and should end its exclusion of free revolutionary forces.
d. The immediate release of all revolutionary prisoners and those detained for their work in politics or journalism, the treating of the injured, care for the families of martyrs, and a halt to violations against journalists.
e. A reduction in the prices of petroleum products and essential commodities to ensure a dignified and secure life for the people.
3. That the revolution and its objectives are treated as the reference point of the dialogue, such that the dialogue helps achieve the revolution’s goals and relies on it for its legitimacy.
4. That the dialogue is not held under any foreign or local trusteeship. There is no problem, however, if it is held with United Nations support that helps it succeed without interfering by imposing its direction or resolutions.
5. That the dialogue addresses all national issues, without exception. This includes the establishment of a true transitional period that lays the foundation for a future based on justice; the equality of opportunities and rights; citizenship; the restructuring of the army, security [services], and electoral system; and other important issues.
6. That the bases, mechanisms and frameworks of the dialogue and its arrangements be balanced and not inclined in favor of one party against the others. This is so that the dialogue doesn’t become a vehicle for opportunistic, authoritarian and exclusionary forces whose only concern is attaining power at any cost; it is also so that the forces who take part have the right to help shape its mechanisms, frameworks and bases.
7. That decisions are made by consensus, that the dialogue is held publicly in a round–table [format], and that the dialogue conference is based on fair grounds involving all parties, with no exclusion and marginalization. In addition, if any of the popular forces refuse to enter the dialogue, that their cause is addressed and their demands and the reasons for their boycott of the dialogue are heard.
8. The neutrality of the military and security establishments and their commitment to non-interference in political affairs, including the dialogue, in their capacity as national institutions that must be on equal terms with all.
9. The removal of regime members implicated in killings and involved in corrupting the political landscape. Their cases should be referred to a Transitional Justice Law, which must be among the resolutions taken in the national dialogue on a progressive basis.
10. That the parties calling for the dialogue specify their position on the continued violations of Yemen’s sovereignty by the United States and other countries on land, sea and air, the killing of the [Yemeni] people, and the entrance of U.S. soldiers into Yemen’s regions and provinces, given that all this represents a violation of the dignity of the Yemeni people.
English translation published by Brookings Doha Center. For the orginal Arabic version see Al-Hadath, October 5, 2012.