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Yemen’s New Government Retains Bad Old Habits

The faces of Yemen’s executive cabinet may have changed, but the same inefficiencies and failures reminiscent of the old government still haunt the country.
People gather next to posters of former Yemeni officials who were injured along with the country's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the June 2011 bomb attack at the Presidential Palace, in Sanaa May 17, 2013. Loyalists to Saleh marked on Friday the second anniversary of the attack. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah (YEMEN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANNIVERSARY) - RTXZQIE
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Yemenis describe the head of the current national accord government, Mohammed Basindawa, as being "weak and honest." This characterization was made more than a year and a half after he took office, following the signing by the Yemeni political parties of the Gulf Initiative as a way out of the impasse that almost slipped into a terrifying civil war in 2011.

The exit from the specter of war did not take Yemenis to the paradise they have dreamed of. The former regime divided the government portfolios with the alliance of revolutionary forces that ran against it. The ministerial portfolios of what was supposed to be a national salvation government were distributed as shares (rewards), and contested by the same political forces in the cabinet who were brought in to fix the situation and end the conflict on the ground between partners of influence and ministerial portfolios.

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