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Backgrounder: Major political forces in Yemen


10:01, February 21, 2012

SANAA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's presidential election is due to take place on Tuesday, with Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi being the only candidate in the polls.

Hadi is expected to take over power from outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and lead the transitional government in the next two years.

Hadi said during his presidential campaign that after he takes office he will launch a national dialogue involving all the political forces in Yemen to solve the political crisis in the impoverished country since anti-government protests erupted early last year.

When North and South Yemen reunified in 1990, Yemen became a democratic republic enjoying political pluralism. At the beginning about 60 parties were formed, but the number of officially recognized parties decreased to 23 in 2003. Most of these parties have no representation in the parliament.

The following are some basic facts about the major political forces in Yemen:

The major political forces in Yemen are the General People's Congress (GPC), the ruling party, and the Joint Meeting Parties ( JMP), the main opposition bloc that includes seven parties.

The GPC was founded in August 1982 by President Saleh based on the ideology of the 1962 revolution. It was founded according to the Yemeni cultural, intellectual and organizational needs and is seen as one of the important parties with Arabism and moderate Islam trends.

The GPC had been Yemen's only party till 1990. Other parties in north Yemen remained under its umbrella or practiced their activities secretly because the GPC banned political activities.

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