by Fuad Rajeh
SANAA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Yemen has launched on Monday the national dialogue conference, a key part in the second phase of a two-year power transition sponsored by the Gulf countries and the international community.
Analysts said the dialogue conference is a crucial turning point between the former government and post-unrest administration and will lead to change and reforms during the transition period.
Mura Al-Azani, a political analyst at the Yemen Economic and Social Development Center, said the pressure by the countries sponsoring the power-transfer deal on local factions is the main reason to be optimistic that the conference will be successful.
"Now, the main issue that should be addressed is how to have a new constitution. The new constitution will determine the new Yemeni state's shape and, with it, we will have the suitable framework to address other key issues including the south ( separatist) cause and (Shiite rebels-dominated) Saada," he said.
Meanwhile, observers said that reaching positive outcomes from the conference depends on effective decisions President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi needs to make.
Abdul Ghani Al-Maweri, a political analyst and writer, said the national dialogue conference may produce solutions to address key issues including the south cause, but at the end the point should be linked to Hadi's decisions to reunite the army, to form a new competent government and to make a fair political speech.
"It may lead to positive but valueless outcomes, which means the situation will require a competent government to make effective decisions to implement the outcomes," he said.
"Some good outcomes can be achieved before Hadi's term ends and can lead to reforms, but Hadi will face big problems because of disagreements between political factions," he said, pointing out that such disagreements may expand and affect the dialogue process according to gains every faction gets or fails to get from the dialogue.
In the meantime, the ultimate success of this conference will be judged by the people after they feel concrete changes, he said.
The dialogue comprised of 565 members including representatives from violent groups such as the Shiite Houthi group and some southern separatist factions.
Observers said the attendance of such groups will definitely lead to convincing armed groups to switch to unarmed political parties.
Abdul Salam Muhammad, head of ABAAD center for strategic studies, said the participation of violent groups in the dialogue conference will convince them to abandon violence and contribute to peace and stability through becoming political entities.
"Deepening democracy and fighting violence will be among the key outcomes that are expected before Hadi leaves office in February 2014," Muhammad said.
However, some analysts also argued that it is too early to predict the course or all outcomes of the dialogue, saying that in politics the situation requires long time to see the true outcomes of a dialog process.
For example, Al-Maweri said, the constitution formulation may depend on external expertise and reconciling the factions here means Hadi will need to more time.
Analysts also said all the participants in the conference realize that the purpose of dialogue is always to reconcile and solve disagreements and this means changes will happen in this way or another.
"But change always requires executive bodies to commit everyone to what they should do under the law," said Muhammad. Al-Azani said Hadi has already started the steps to eradicate the disagreements between political factions through issuing the decree on his deputies.
The six deputies included senior officials from the most important political forces in the country led by the former ruling party, the General People's Congress, and the main parties in the JMP opposition bloc, the Yemeni Socialist Party, Islah Party and Nasserite Party.
"Choosing the deputies meant that Hadi will use all means including international pressure to convince the deputies to help him make good decisions and to engage the forces in the change process in a perfect way," Al-Azani said.