Yemen's presidential election, 1999

Nominations for the presidency

NOMINATIONS for the presidential election closed on July 13. In a last-minute rush, 31 names were put forward. (The following list of nominees was published in Attariq newspaper on July 20.)

Ali Abdullah Salih (General People's Congress, Islah, National Opposition Council)

Ali Salih 'Ubad Muqbil (parties of the Supreme Co-ordination Council for the Opposition)

Abd al-Quwi Ahmad Hamoud Shuwi'a (People's Democratic Party)

Al-Habbani Muhammad abd al-Malik Nu'man al-'Abassi (Yemeni Popular Unity Party)

Ali bin Ali Sabihi - employee

Muhammad Muhammad Hizam al-Yamani - employee

Amin Ahmad Thabit - employee

Abd al-Wahhab Muhammad Hassan al-Karidi - employee

Abdullah Salih Salih al-Bakhiti - employee

Muhammad Ahmad Sa'ad al-Dhufari - employee

Faisal Ali Ahmad Ghaaithan al-Tawil - employee

Salih Hassan Abdullah al-'Azani - employee

Abd al-Malik Yahya Ahmad Hanash - employee

Ahmad Ali Hussein Yahya al-'Amri - employee

Muhammad A'id Qa'id al-'Uthmali - retired

Ali Salih al-Houri - retired

Muhammad Ali Muhsin al-Sirri - lawyer

Salih Ahmad bin Ahmad Jubah - lawyer

Muhammad Hussein al-Jamuzi - trader

Ali Abdullah Salih Muhsin Suroub - trader

Abd al-Wahhab Qanaf Sha'if - trader

Mustafa Youssef Khalil - journalist

Iskandar Ali al-Nathari - goldsmith

Mustafa Ali Naji 'Aiyash - soldier

Ahmad Muslih al-Barti - electronic engineer

Ma'adh Abdullah al-Shahani - head of charitable organisation

Ahmad Abduh al-Ramim - sheikh

Najib Qahtan al-Sha'abi - Member of Parliament

A further three nominees failed to meet the legal requirements:

Amin Ahmad bin Ahmad Thabit (has Russian wife - candidates must not be married to a foreigner)

Abdullah Salih Salih Muhsin Surub (only 38 - minimum age is 40)

A nominee whose name is considered too similar to that of President Salih

Parliamentary vetting of candidates

IN THE NEXT stage of the process, a parliamentary vetting committee, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar (leader of the Islah party and Speaker of parliament), met to consider the presidential nominees. Al-Ayyam newspaper described its meeting on July 20 as heated and suggested that GPC and Islah members of the committee did not want to approve Ali Salih 'Ubad Muqbil, the Socialist party leader, as a candidate - though some members objected.

Eventually, the committee put forward 24 of the 31 nominees for consideration by the full parliament. Voting by Members of Parliament was:     

Ali Abdullah Salih


Najib Qahtan al-Sha'abi


Khalid al-Zarraka


Ali Salih 'Ubad Muqbil


The other 20 nominees failed to attract any votes. Mr Zarraka's name did not appear in the list of nominees published by Attariq. 

In order to be allowed to stand in the election, candidates needed suport from 10 per cent of the parliament (301 members). Salih and Sha'abi were therefore the only two candidates approved.

A total of 253 MPs voted; 47 were absent and one abstained.