Elections without fever
A non-election in Yemen and more Al-Qaeda shenanigans, reports Nasser Arrabyee
Posters of elections are almost everywhere in Yemen. No elections fever, because there is only one candidate to be elected.
Instead, there seem to be a big determination from Yemeni political players and their outside supporters to make this elections a success despite all challenges of this non-election.
In the posters you can read slogans like "Vote to build a new Yemen", "Elections are the only way for power-transfer". "New President for new Yemen" is written under huge pictures of the only candidate Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
Pictures of the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh are also put together with some of the huge pictures of Hadi to encourage Saleh's supporters to vote.
Three groups refuse the internationally, regionally and nationally supported presidential elections scheduled for 21 February. Two of these three groups are trying to prevent the elections by making riots and violence wherever they can.
Although the three groups represent only a small minority, the main political players and their outside supporters are concerned about any violence that may stop and spoil the elections, the cornerstone of the political solution to rescue the country from a civil war.
The three groups that refuse elections are first, the Shia fighters known as Al-Houthis in the northern province of Saada. Secondly, there are the Hirak, who demand the separation of the south, which was an independent State before the south and north united in 1990.
Al-Qaeda is the third group that refuses not only elections, but also every political gesture that lies outside their thinking of establishing a Taliban-style Islamic Emirate in the framework of their final dream to establish what they call the Islamic Caliphate.
The top leader of Al-Houthi Shia fighters, Abdel-Malik Al-Houthi, declared clearly earlier this week, that he and his supporters would boycott the elections but he also said he would not prevent people in his areas from voting if they like.
The Hirak, the separatist movement in the south, is not united. Some leaders declared they would participate in the elections because the new elected president will be from the south and, they say, the problems that made them demand the separation will be solved after the elections.
Another group within the Hirak, declare they would boycott the elections. The least but the most dangerous group within Hirak is the group that threatened to prevent the elections by force.
On Tuesday, a 28-year-old man from this violent group within the Hirak, Amir Othman Al-Yari, killed himself early in the morning when his attempt to plant explosives inside the elections committee office in Aden failed. No one else was injured because he was alone.
This violent group is rejected by the majority of the separatists and it is loyal to the German-based former president of the south Ali Salem Al-Baidh, who is reportedly receiving support from Iran.
For Al-Qaeda, it's obvious that elections and solving the political crisis is not in its interest because it expands more and more thanks to chaos, not the stability that elections will supposedly bring.
To frighten people from participating in the elections, Al-Qaeda beheaded three of its members and hanged and crucified one of them in a public place in a Taliban-style Al-Qaeda-declared Islamic Emirate town in the south, about one week before election day.
Two Yemenis were executed by Al-Qaeda on charges of spying for American, Saudi and Yemeni intelligence, according to Al-Qaeda statements after the executions.
The Taliban-style executions took place in two different towns controlled by Al-Qaeda south of Yemen in the presence of hundreds of local people and Al-Qaeda operatives.
Al-Qaeda-declared judge was reading the verdict against the Yemeni Ramzi Mohamed Al-Areeki early Sunday morning in Azzan, Shabwa, in south Yemen. the same place where American drones killed the 16-year old son of the American-Yemeni cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki last October.
Families of the victims of that drone attack were among the sympathisers and local residents who were chanting "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" as Al-Areeki was being beheaded with a sword, in Mafrak Azzan, in Shabwa.
Another Yemeni, Saleh Ahmed Saleh Al-Jamily, was also executed close to Khanfar Stadium, Jaar, in the southern province of Abyan.
In the two Al-Qaeda held towns, the militants distributed to local residents hundreds of copies of what they called confessions from the two executed Yemenis.
According to that confessions, Al-Areeki said that two Saudi intelligence officials had recruited him to spy on Al-Qaeda movements and activities in Yemen.
Hussein Bin Saad Al-Kahtani, and Ibrahim Suleiman Al-Dailami met him in the Saudi city of Abha and agreed to work with him as a spy in return for money.
Al-Areeki was the agent who sent the information about the son of Anwar Al-Awlaki, Abdel-Rahman, and a number of Al-Qaeda operatives, who were in Mafrak, Azzan last October before a US drone killed them.
For the second executed in Jaar, Al-Jamily wrote in a confession that the Yemeni intelligence officer Mueed Nasser Abdullah recruited him to collect information about nine Al-Qaeda operatives including three prominent leaders who were killed by US drones in Zinjubar Abyan and Mareb.
He gave the information that led to the killing of Ali Bin Said Bin Jamil and Abu Osama Ali Mubarak Feras in Zinjubar late last year.
Jamil is from the Abida tribe of Marib province and Feras from Jehm tribe from the same province.
Al-Jamily, who is originally from Mareb, also said he was behind the killing of seven other Al-Qaeda militants from Mareb over the last few years.
Earlier this month, in Zinjubar, Al-Qaeda executed a third man called Abu Eissa Hassan Naji Al-Nakeeb, who was the money man for the two executed agents.
Al-Qaeda threatened to do the same thing to any one who would give information about them to "the enemies of Allah". Al-Qaeda also declared names of three men who, as they said, still work with the Yemeni and American intelligence.