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How Gulf Initiative has worsened Yemen's crisis

Yemen has been stuck in a "transitional phase" while the state is collapsing as a result of failing government performance and a decline in basic services for citizens.
Protesters burn tyres during a demonstration against Yemen's fuel shortages in Sanaa June 11, 2014. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Yemeni president's house in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday to call for the fall of the government, angry at a city-wide power cut about to enter its third day and severe petrol shortages.  REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR3T7U4

Yemeni parties have been fond of the term “consensual legitimacy” since 2010, when opposition parties that fall under the umbrella of the Joint Meetings Parties (JMP) signed an agreement with the General People’s Congress (GPC), which was headed by then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The agreement stipulated postponing parliamentary elections — which have not been held since 2003 — until the electoral system and the Supreme Committee for Elections are reviewed and reformed.

The revolution exploded in 2011 and resulted in the Gulf Initiative, which produced a consensus president and a government of national reconciliation. This revived the concept of “consensual legitimacy,” which means the parties reach agreements by consensus. But conflict restarted, as happened with the 2010 agreement, and a political fight exploded in 2011. Then, the Gulf Initiative, signed in November 2011, was unable to achieve the minimum of the people’s aspirations amid the elites justifying the agreement’s defects. Despite that, the transitional phase, which was supposed to expire in February 2014, was extended under the pretext of political consensus and that the transitional phase was a “mission” and not a time period.

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