There was only one candidate to become Yemen's next president on Tuesday's poll, and The New York Times describes the election as "hardly an exercise in democracy," but Yemenis took to polling stations despite reports of violence. The voters turned out to see the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year-reign over the impoverished country. Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi was the only person on the ballot, so the story here isn't about a horse race for the presidency. For Yemenis, the election marks the symbolic end to President Saleh's rule, and conclusion of a months-long plan for the dictator to step down.
"Today we are building the new Yemen, we are building the democratic and happy Yemen that all of the youth and women have dreamed about," a Yemeni political activist told the BBC. Another activist told The New York Times, "It’s fine that only Abed Rabbo is on the ballot. If there was more than one candidate, then they would start killing each other and we are sick of the killing." Unfortunately having only Rabbo on the ballot didn't completely stop the killings: The BBC reports that so far, eight soldiers were killed in violent outbursts at polling stations today.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.