February 21st, 2012
01:23 AM ET

Yemen holds presidential election with 1 candidate

There is only one name on the ballot Tuesday as Yemen goes to the polls to replace longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh. And yet, the election is a historic one because it signifies the formal end of Saleh's 33-year reign.

Vice President Abdurabu Mansur Hadi, who took over when Saleh stepped down in November after months of protests, insisted on standing for election. He has said he wants to make his presidency official.

Security around the capital and elsewhere was tight Tuesday. Around Sanaa, posters of Hadi has replaced images of Saleh.

"A New President for a New Yemen," read a large banner that hung from Change Square, which had been the epicenter of the anti-government movement last year.

Some who took part in the protests said they were not particularly excited about Tuesday's vote.

"Maybe you can call them elections," said Nadia Abdullah. "But for me, elections should have more than one candidate."

Abdullah said she would stand by Hadi as long as he made good on his promises.

"If he goes through with it, we will stand hand-in-hand with him," she said. "If he doesn't, or if we see a lot of game-playing between him and the government, I believe the youth will remain in the squares. They would say, 'Leave,' as they did to Ali Abdullah Saleh."

The 65-year-old Hadi is a British-, Egyptian- and Soviet-trained army officer, recently promoted to the rank of field marshal. He has served as vice president since 1994 and is running for a two-year term as president on pledges of improving security and creating more jobs.

But he's never had much of a power base of his own, and Yemen's problems will take much longer to fix than the two-year mandate he's expected to receive. It's the poorest country in the Middle East, with a severe shortage of water and rising levels of malnutrition among its population of about 25 million.

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Filed under: World • Yemen
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Superman

    I can run in the second spot could i not LOL!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Lmao yea guess you could. Are you a citizen of Yemen?

    February 21, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Hmmm... would be funny if he lost...

    February 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ms

      Hmm...yeah isn't this going to be another dictatorship? It really would be funny if he lost 🙂

      February 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hp

    This might as well be used as the news for the upcoming November 2012 election in the USA.

    Heads Obama wins, tails Romney loses.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |