Saba agency

Failure and Fringe: Maeen Abdulmalik in the Spotlight


Sun, 25-12-2022 04:44 PM, Aden

Raad Alrimi (South24) 

In October 2018, the then Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi appointed Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed as the new Prime Minister to replace Ahmed Obaid Bin Dagher, the current Speaker of Shura Council, who faced occupation charges. Abdulmalik’s appointment came in very tense political circumstances and poor economic and service conditions in South Yemen’s governorates and Northern areas which are not controlled by the Houthis. Abdulmalik led the pre-Riyadh Agreement government and the parity government divided between South Yemen and North Yemen. He moved between Aden, Riyadh and Cairo for two years amid political fluctuations that led to the establishment of the parity government in December 2020 in light of the Riyadh Agreement. Despite his failure as the head of the first government, there was a consensus to appoint Abdulmalik to lead the parity government.
Many times, the consensus enjoyed by Abdulmalik was seen as a result of the short political experience of the man who was unknown before 2013. At that time, the so-called “Yemeni National Dialogue” was launched in which he served as the head of a team tasked with the "independence of bodies and topics”. Before he was appointed PM, Abdulmalik served as the Minister of Public Works and Roads between 2015-2017.
Additionally, Abdulmalik has enjoyed a close relationship with the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber who has had a strong influence in many appointments and nominations within the consecutive Yemeni governments since 2015. These governments were based in Riyadh more than any other place.
Despite Abdulmalik’s perfection in playing on contradictions and creating balances with the main forces as part of the "legitimacy" matrix in the country, it seems that the "fringe angle" upon which he relied as a survival strategy is no longer safe today. Due to the accumulation of economic and service failures along with the political alignment he has recently shown, the voices that oppose Maeen Abdulmalik have escalated, especially from the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
The big failure of Maeen Abdulmalik's work and his accumulative missteps emerged after declaring the establishment of the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) in April this year. It seems that the young man who came from the squares of the so-called "Youth Revolution '' in 2011 didn't meet the massive reforms required by the phase and accompanied important changes amid attempts by today's partners under the PLC’s umbrella to maintain them.

Maeen Abdulmalik's record as PM is void of remarkable successes. The man who held office at a time when the US dollar was less than 800 Yemeni riyals faces today the worst service and living hood conditions across the governorates.
At the service level, the electricity of Aden is one of the most prominent examples of Maeen Abdulmalik's failures. In a previous report, South24 Center's exclusive sources accused the Yemeni cabinet of the intentional neglect of the governmental electricity power stations in Aden in favor of the hired ones as part of what they described as "corruption deals and common interests".
The sources said that Maeen Abdulmalik hired a power station to feed Aden with an estimated capacity of only 100 megawatts with a total value that exceeds $130 million while several state governmental power stations in Aden need maintenance operations that require millions of dollars to produce more power.

In addition to the electricity file, Abdulmalik-led governments made multiple missteps in other files such as the salaries of the military and security sectors in South Yemen which have not been paid for more than 7 months a year during the past period. This is in addition to the civil sector's salaries, particularly the teachers who have been on strike for long sporadic periods.
Maeen Abdulmalik led the so-called "Supreme Council of Energy" which held dozens of meetings in Aden during the past periods without making any impact or results on the ground.
Exclusive Central Bank sources told "South24 Center" that Maeen Abdulmalik failed to convince international organizations in Yemen of depositing their money in the Central Bank in Aden despite tens of meetings he held with them. According to the sources, these organizations still deposit their money in the Central Bank controlled by the Houthis in Sanaa.
In May this year, Abdulmalik’s office announced PM instructions to quickly implement the plan of restarting work in Aden Refineries [1], one of the most important sovereign economic facilities in the country. Five months later, Nothing has been achieved yet, exactly like several other directions issued by Abdulmalik.

Official sources told "South24 Center" that the Southern ministers in the parity government, especially the STC’s ministerial bloc suffered from many obstacles put by Maeen Abdulmalik's administration towards the work of these ministries.
The sources said that these obstacles were represented in Maeen Abdulmalik's establishment of committees whose work directly interferes with the relevant ministries. An example of this is "the committee to develop the mechanism to deal with the humanitarian crisis and facilitate the work of aid agencies and international organizations'' which was established by Maeen Abdulmalik in January 2021 [2].
Although the committee is led by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Waed Badhib, it was an attempt from Abdulmalik to empty the ministry of its tasks according to the sources.
Additionally, the sources accused Abdulmalik administration of hindering the measure taken by Abdulnasser Al-Wali, the STC-affiliate Civil Service Minister in late 2021 which obliged the displaced employees to come from Northern areas to Aden to receive their salaries as a move to reduce the Houthis' benefits from these salaries which reach the areas controlled by them.
Recently, official documents obtained by "South24 Center" revealed Maeen Abdulmalik's reluctance to take any measures towards what an official report concluded about the massive expansion of the Yemeni consulates abroad [3].
The notes included directions by PLC's Member Abdulrahman Al-Muharami in September and November respectively to implement the measures based upon the report issued by a committee established by the Yemeni PM himself. This revelation came simultaneously with big corruption in the external scholarship program In the Ministry of Higher Education, which prompted Abdulmalik's government to announce measures to address this.
Previously, local newspapers revealed, "a corruption case" stirred by Al-Muharami within PLC against Maeen Abdulmalik's office. They alleged that Abdulmalik's office seized 45 million $ per month. "South24 Center'' has been so far unable to confirm the authenticity of these claims.
In this regard, Saleh Abu Audal, head of "Al-Youm8 for Studies and Media" told "South24 Center" that "Maeen Abdulmalik exploited his close relationships with Saudi Ambassador Mohammed Al Jaber to strip the powers of all ministers and officials".
He added: "I don't think that Maeen would have made that without the presence of regional factors which support him. It has become known that the Saudi Ambassador continued to exercise power over the Yemeni government and interfere in everything.” "South24 Center" cannot confirm these allegations.
He added: "If there is a corruption charge against Maeen Abdulmalik, it would be his domination of the executive unit to manage the displacement camps in South Yemen. This unit, run by the Islah Party member Najib al-Saadi, was supposed to be under the administration of the Ministries of Social Affairs, Planning, and International Cooperation".
Abu Audal accused the Yemeni PM of lethargy in carrying out the governmental economic measures based on the National Defense Council's decision to designate the Houthis as a "terrorist group".
The Southern journalist said: "Maeen Abdulmalik has not been serious in implementing the decision to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group by imposing economic sanctions because the man has commercial interests with Sanaa. He is an oil products trader who competes with businessman Ahmed Saleh Al-Eisi". 

On November 7th, STC's member Nasser Al-Khubji accused PM Maeen Abdulmalik as being the "top obstructer of the Riyadh Agreement” signed in November 2019. These statements stirred questions about the fate of the remaining unimplemented articles of the Riyadh Agreement. 
Abu Audal believes that “If the regional sponsors of the Riyadh Agreement are serious in implementing its articles, they should begin with removing Maeen Abdulmalik from power and the re-formation of the government in light of the parity project”.
He added: “Removing Abdulmalik from office and the appointment of a Southern figure as a head of the government would be evidence that the regional sponsor is serious about implementing the articles of the Riyadh Agreement. It is illogical that heads of PLC, the Yemeni government, the parliament, and the executive offices of all ministries to be from Taiz which is occupied by the Houthis”. 
He added: “This is something that must be dealt with by the sponsors who have not put any pressure to transfer the resources of Marib to the Central Bank of Aden as agreed upon”. 
“South24 Center” previously tried to contact the PM’s office about a number of accusations regarding services in Aden for comment but the center didn’t receive any response.

Raad Alrimi 

Journalist at South24 Center for News and Studies in Aden.

YemenSouth YemenRiyadh AgreementAdenMaeen Abdulmalik