The Significance of the Imminent Return of President al-Attas: Will President Hadi Redraft his Alliances upon Regional Desire?
The imminent return of former South Yemeni President Abu Bakr al-Attas to the country accompanied by some southern leaders abroad, is expected to change the equation of influence and power in the south. This change does not mean only weakening the influence of former President Ali Salem al-Beidh and Hasan Ba’oum, who head the two southern factions known for their secessionist endeavors, but also, among other things, rounding up the remaining presence of the Socialist Party in this arena. Nevertheless, it is clear that this expected return is part of a wide process that aims to bring some change on the balance equation in the country within the official power and around it. In fact, there are enough reasons for this expected return to be a source of real concern for the leadership of the al-Islah Party and centers of power around it. Some of these reasons include that the role to be played by al-Attas, might be more than an expression by President Hadi of his need to widen the sphere of his alliances, to free himself of the pressure of al-Islah Party. Although this possibility in itself is highly important and dangerous for al-Islah, still the more important and dangerous possibility has to do with whether the expected return of al-Attas and his company, is closely related to a regional desire to exclude al-Islah Party from Hadi’s alliance, which is certainly a possibility.