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Faris al-Jalal

Hadi purges administration of Saleh’s men

Hadi has lost faith in many close to him [AFP]

Date of publication: 31 March, 2015

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Analysis: After being betrayed by those close to him, Hadi has dismissed several members of his administration as he tries to regain control.
Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's decision-making has come under scrutiny have after he was rejected by the governors of Abyan and Lahej provinces (both near Aden, where Hadi has relocated to), who are loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On Sunday, Hadi issued two presidential decrees to replace  Ahmed Abdullah al-Majidi, the governor of Lahej, with Ahmed Mahdi Fadil as acting governor, and Jamal al-Aqel, the governor of Abyan, with al-Khader al-Saidi as acting governor.

In doing so, Hadi has removed two of Saleh's men accused of helping their governorates fall into the hands of the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces.

Majidi is known to be extremely loyal to Saleh, and he has been accused of being behind the fall of the al-Anad airbase and Lahej, and of helping the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces advance to the outskirts of Aden.
     Hadi has removed two of Saleh's men accused of helping Houthi and pro-Saleh forces.

Several military commanders have also blamed Majidi for the Houthis' arrest of pro-Hadi field commanders, namely Defence Minister Major General Mahmoud al-Subaihi, and Major General Nasser Mansour Hadi, the president's brother and deputy chief of political security in Aden, Lahej and Abyan. The arrested leaders also included Major General Faisal Rajab, commander of Brigade 119 in the battle of al-Houta, the capital city of Lahej.

Majidi has never denied these accusations. He only announced that he had not yet been notified of his dismissal, but would accept it when he was.

Jamal al-Aqel is also loyal to Saleh. Many questions have been raised about how Hadi's administration has been infiltrated by Saleh's men, especially when these dismissalw came a few days after the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces took over Lahej and Abyan.

Since coming to power, Hadi has spared no effort to secure his rule by making dismissals and changes to the administration, especially regarding positions that should be under his control, not his political rivals.

The infiltration of his administration was a severe blow for Hadi, political sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed. "It meant he was depending on his rival's team, unaware that those he trusted to make major decisions or run important government institutions were the ones who were undermining him,” the sources explained.

Hadi tried to employ some southern leaders in his administration but, according to sources close to him, even they were working against him.

Thus, the new presidential decrees are aimed at uprooting Saleh's 'sleeper cells', especially in the south. According to sources close to him, Hadi no longer trusts those around him because he has been betrayed on so many levels, including within security, military and political institutions.
     Hadi's powers are dispersed and need to be combined, especially after the major conspiracy against him.

In the current situation, and with Gulf and Arab intervention in Yemen, Hadi is facing the difficult task of reshaping his administration and securing the south for now. There is also likely to be a ground intervention by the Saudi-led coalition in support.

Hadi's powers are dispersed and need to be consolidated, especially after the major conspiracy against him over the past few days. This conspiracy has enabled his rivals to easily take over Yemen's southern provinces, including parts of Aden, with the help of those he thought were loyal to him. However, this has affected his trust in them, especially senior commanders who worked under Saleh before Hadi came to power.

Many believe Hadi will now select new and independent figures, including professional youths, as shown in his latest appointments, starting with his office manager Mohammad Maarem and Foreign Minister Riyad Yassin.

In addition, Yemeni and foreign political entities are currently demanding Hadi forms a new army if he wants to continue in power. He is also likely to replace Subaihi as defence minister.

Re-securing his administration will require taking advantage of the new Arab intervention, re-structuring the state's administration, and changing his previous policies of governing.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

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