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Backgrounder: Major political forces in Yemen (2)

(Xinhua)

10:02, February 21, 2012

Most of the JMP parties were within the GPC till 1990, when the north and the south reunified. The GPC has the majority in the Yemeni House of Representatives, with 229 members according to the 2003 elections. With the goal of ensuring the participation of the parties in the parliament, the JMP was formed on Feb. 6, 2003.

The JMP consists of the main opposition parties in the country, including those which remained under the GPC till 1990. The principal agreement of the JMP called for serving the main goal of the bloc, increasing their representation in the parliament, and banning competition among these parties and coordination with other parties.

The JMP included seven parties: the Yemeni Congregation of Reform Party, the Yemeni Socialist Party, the Nasserite Unionist People's Organization, the National Arab Socialist Baath Party, the Haq Party, the September Congregation Party, and the Popular Forces Union Party.

The Yemeni Congregation of Reform Party (Islah Party) was recognized on Sept. 13, 1990. It became an opposition party in May 1997.

In the first parliamentary elections after the unity, this party won 64 seats. In the 1997 elections it won 53 seats and in the 2003 elections 46 seats out of 301, the total seats of the parliament.

The second important party within the JMP is the Yemeni Socialist Party, which was founded in 1978 in South Yemen. Several deadly events took place in the south have badly weakened its organizational and internal structure as well as its popularity.

In 1990, it was a partner in the reunification of the north and the south. After the civil war in 1994, this party lost its popularity due to reasons including the separation war and ideology that conflicted with the culture and religious fanaticism of the Yemeni society.

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