General People’s Congress

Published 23rd January, 2012

The General People’s Congress or GPC was founded in 1982 in what was then North Yemen. The party describes itself as right wing.

The GPC started life as a 1,000 member consultative body rather than a political party and didn’t contest elections until 1988, but the first time it came to prominence was when it won the 1993 elections.

By 1993 North and South Yemen had merged and the GPC won 122 of the 301 seats in the Assembly of Representatives. They went on to win the 1997 election, taking 187 of the 301 seats and also the 2003 election when they won 238 of the 301 seats.

Leader of the party Ali Abdullah Saleh had become the president of the newly unified Yemen in 1990, he was elected again by parliament in 1994 but didn’t face a direct election for the post until 1999 when he won with 96.3% of the vote. Originally his term of office was supposed to be for five years, but in 2000 this was extended to seven years. So it was that he didn’t face another election until 2006 when again he won, this time with 77.17% of the vote.

In the spring of 2011 there was a popular uprising against Saleh and the government which, late in the year, resulted in him agreeing to stand down in favour of his vice-president.

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