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Inside Story
Has Yemen's revolution succeeded?
As the votes are counted in Yemen's election, we ask if the country is experiencing comprehensive or cosmetic change.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2012 14:08

On Tuesday, Yemenis voted in an election in which the winner was a foregone conclusion.

"The GCC initiative ... has failed to understand the needs and demands of the Yemeni people."

- Osama Shamsan, Yemeni Youth Revolution spokesperson

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the long-time vice president and one time close confidant of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, was the only candidate.

Hadi was appointed as part of a GCC-backed deal, but the election was marred by violence that left 10 people dead and forced the closure of nine polling stations.

The vice president, who is set to be declared president in the coming days, has promised great changes, saying: "This is a qualitative leap for modern Yemen. There will be big political, economic and social change, which is the way out of the crisis that has ravaged the country."

"Yemen is not safe yet. The army is divided. The family members of Saleh are still in power."

- Ameen al-Hemyari, a political analyst

But how do Yemenis feel about their first new president in more than 30 years? Has their revolution been a success and was the GCC deal aiming for comprehensive or just cosmetic change? Will life for the average Yemeni be any different under Hadi than under Saleh?

Joining Inside Story with presenter Adrian Finighan to discuss this are: Jamila Ali Raja, a political analyst and former advisor to the Yemeni foreign ministry; Ameen al-Hemyari, a political analyst and professor at Qatar University; and Osama Shamsan, a spokesperson for the Yemeni Youth Revolution, a group that protested against Tuesday's election.

"If we do not rally around what is happening now, I think we might go back to the same status quo that we were in before."

Jamila Ali Raja, a political analyst

Yemen's challenges:

The country's army is battling al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the previous president had been working with the US to try to crush the group

Yemen suffers from high unemployment and poverty. Forty per cent of Yemenis live on less than $2 a day and around 50% are without jobs

According to the UN, Yemen is second only to Afghanistan for levels of chronic malnutrition. Fifty-seven per cent of Yemen's children are chronically malnourished
Source:
Al Jazeera
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