YP: When voting for issues submitted by the government to parliament, party affiliates’ decisions are largely determined by party leaders. Why don’t you work directly for the people?
AJ: There are always two choices, one which is easy, and is the one in favor of the party and it could mean that while we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The other is what is in the people’s interests.
There is a feeling of weakness among parliament members and a feeling that their main purpose is to rubber-stamp decisions made by the executives to provide a coating of democracy to citizens.
YP: Have you ever made a brave choice that might be of interest to people and at the same time against your party’s attitude, the General People’s Congress (GPC)?
AJ: My stances on issues are clear whether they are major or minor. I’m free to choose. I expressed anger at the poor performance of the government and strongly opposed notions against people’s benefits.
YP: Your performance in parliament, could it satisfy voters you need in the upcoming elections?
AJ: I think that the overwhelming majority of people in my precinct trust me and they would not hesitate to vote for me again. People would vote for me because I am accessible to all of them and can relate to all walks of life.
YP: Media reports mentioned that you’re accused by Dhamar Governor, Yahya Al-Amri of supporting Houthi followers and sustaining fame by following the Joint Meeting Parties’ steps of hurting the country. Can you explain these allegations?
AJ: Such claims have no credibility. No one could accuse me of supporting Houthis as my stance is obvious and I’m against people who fight the authorities. Houthi followers are outlaw insurgents and they must stop fighting and abide by the five conditions put on the table by the Yemeni authorities.
YP: Similarly, it was said that you attacked Al-Amri because of igniting the war in Sa’ada while he was the governor there?
AJ: Governors have the authority to propose projects with political aims, such as those regarding security issues as they are better informed on provincial issues.
YP: Are you supporting the oppositions?
AJ: I’m a GPC’s affiliate and once I feel I should join the opposition, no one can stop me.
YP: Is the (GPC) ready for dialogue with the opposition?
AJ: I believe that the GPC is supposed to call on the opposition to start talks on most urgent issues involving security and national interests. In order to carry out open dialogue with the opposition, the GPC should call them and start negotiations.
YP: How do you see the situation in Sa’ada in the north and the unrest in some governorates in the south?
AJ: What is happening in Sa’ada is a big crisis and what we wish is that it should end soon. The Yemeni army has to end this crisis by force. I think we’re better off letting their hatred die with them.
As for the crisis in some of the southern governorates, the ruling party has to start using dialogue to solve its problems instead of force.
YP: It is clear that you’re with the idea of war against insurgent in Sa’ada and dialogue with those who demand self-rule of the South?
AJ: Anyone who calls for war, bloodshed, widespread slaughter or destruction of life is an insane person. Houthi followers are outlaw insurgents. They attack troops and people and continue to commit subversion. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians are trapped by them. They have led to widespread suffering and the loss of thousands of lives.
YP: President Saleh’s way of resolving problems in the country leads to a security breach. Elements who threaten Yemen’s stability become leaders and wealthy people. What is your response?
AJ: If those going against the laws are not dealt with seriously, it encourages others and steers them to violate the law and do sabotage acts that threaten Yemen’s stability. Elements that violate the law must be prosecuted. However, in order for the law to be relevant, it must be enforced to all. Outlaw elements will continue to violate the law while innocent civilians will continue to suffer. They must be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with Yemeni law.
YP: What is your final word?
AJ: I wish to see tolerance, peace and socio-political stability in our country. I hope Yemen overcomes the problems and achieves respectable economic growth.