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.