The panel discussion (South24 Center)

Panel Discussion: The Consequences of Keeping Maeen Government in Power


Tue, 29-08-2023 10:05 AM, Aden Time

The government's economic failure runs deep and is apparent. It has delivered nothing to the people.

Aden (South24) 

On August 21, 2023, 'South24 Center' organized a virtual panel discussion via 'Zoom' in cooperation with 'Knowledge Center for Strategic Researches and Studies'. The symposium was entitled ’The Consequences of Keeping the Maeen Abdulmalik Government in Power.’

The talk, which lasted nearly an hour, saw the participation of three guests: political analysts Nabil Al-Soufi and Osama Al-Sharmi, and economic expert Dr. Mohammed Al-Kassadi. The panel discussed the possible repercussions on the economic and services sector by keeping the government in power as well as the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC).

The symposium, which was moderated by journalist Osan Bin Siddah, saw a consensus emerge about the failure of the parity government, led by Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Maeen Abdulmalik, who had taken over in 2018.

Deep failure

Political analyst Nabil Al-Soufi said the problem with the parity government was not limited to PM Maeen Abdulmalik alone but also related to its system of working.

"The PLC hasn't adequately discussed the issue of the government, and even political parties haven't yet set an agenda that honestly addresses the dilemma. Therefore, I don't think that the regional and international sponsors are interested in keeping the government in power," he added.

Economic expert Mohammed Al-Kassadi detailed the failure of the government on the economic front and the spread of corruption.

He said: "The price of one food basket today is at least $100 while the salary of a teacher isn’t more than $40. The government's economic failure runs deep and is apparent. It has delivered nothing to the people even while granting economic concessions to the Houthi militia."

He added: "This government has contested South Yemen's liberated areas. It has glaringly failed to address the issue of stability of the national currency." Al-Kassadi also pointed to how the strategic Port of Aden was lying in an idle state, an unthinkable occurrence, since the beginning of this year, while in contrast the Port of Hodeidah, which is under Houthi control, was humming with activity. This, he said, was due to the facilities provided to the latter port.

According to him: “This government hasn't set in motion its institutions while the monetary and financial policies of the Yemeni Central Bank are ineffective." He said the condition of the people living in the government areas was “appalling”.


Political analyst Osama Al-Sharmi highlighted the failure of the government, saying: "The decision-maker behind keeping this government in power is the one responsible for its failure." He also spoke about the "failure of Yemen's political leadership in general”.

He asked: "Who is the decision-maker responsible for the abysmal state of Yemen’s revenues? By using armed drones, the Houthis have halted oil production and exports. The party that was able to stop the Houthi attacks is the one that has appointed and protected this government."

Al-Sharmi believes that the government members have "committed political suicide with their attempt to coverup the failure of the state". He added: "We suffer from military, political, and economic failure by all standards. Dr. Maeen Abdulmalik and his government needs to proactively set in motion some of the projects now."

He opined that "the Maeen Abdulmalik government is surviving because it keeps in mind the interests of every section, and accommodates them. This is the very reason for its failure too."

Parity is not the problem

Nabil Al-Soufi opined that “parity isn't the problem”. His answer was in response to the symposium's moderator posing a question about the parity in representation between the North and South constituents within the Maeen Abdulmalik government, especially since South Yemen constitutes 90% of the government's geography.

He explained, saying: "I think that the parity issue in the PLC is more apparent than in the government. The functioning of the government needs to improve. Those who have failed to perform should be replaced."

He added: "Parity isn't the problem, but it is the nature of the relationship between the PLC and the government. For example, PLC Chairman Rashad Al-Alimi went to Al-Mahra to inaugurate several projects, although such a task belongs to the government."

Al-Soufi stressed the need to review the government's performance which "has been absent on the ground. It has to improve its functioning or be replaced". He believes that “giving the Southern entities more responsibilities in the government beyond parity is a political issue which has to be discussed".

Impact of the political aspect 

Dr. Mohammed Al-Kassadi criticized the system of “political quotas”, adding that "such political factors interfere with the administrative work. We are unable to isolate the government’s functioning from the political context. I think the government's failure will continue as long as the political quota system exists." 

He continued: "There are figures in the government who serve the Houthi militia. The affiliation of ministers with different parties complicates the task of holding a government official accountable." Al-Kassadi cited Lebanon as an example of how the political aspect and the quota system affects the performance of the government.

An assertive government 

Al-Sharmi ruled out the notion that the government was deliberately looking after Houthi interests. According to him, the government’s “weakness” may be a factor in this. He believes that "supporting the Houthis happens today by an almost complete national consensus. Otherwise, what is the reason behind making the Port of Hodeidah work now?"

He noted: "The one who prevents transferring banks and companies from Sanaa to Aden is the one who can change the government". Al-Sharmi believes that the Yemenis “need an assertive government capable of taking up internal and external projects and prioritizing the interests of Yemenis rather than the regional or international ones."

STC ministers

Al-Kassadi criticized the role played by the government's ministers affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), adding that they share the responsibility for the current failure of governance and corruption. He asked:  "Why did the STC join the government if it is unable to do anything to fight corruption?"

He went on to elaborate: "The Southern members in the government-held service sectors have been unable to manage their offices. They have no role to play on the ground and should immediately resign. Their muteness on the economic tragedy makes them complicit."

Sacking the government is the solution 

Osama Al-Sharmi stressed that sacking the government and forming a new national government is the best solution. He concluded: "A national party such as the STC should be allowed to carry out the task of forming a government that accepts full responsibility in front of the people."

South24 Center

Note: This is a translated version of the original text written in Arabic

South YemenPanel discussionSeminarMaeen AbdulmalikParity government