The appointment of Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed as the new prime minister of Yemen has been largely welcomed by many Yemenis who hope that a competent young technocrat with vision might be up to the challenge of revitalising a collapsing economy while the conflict-wracked state teeters on the brink of famine.
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Dr Saaed, who is 37, said he hoped he was ready to tackle the task ahead. “I would like to thank the President of the Republic for entrusting and appointing me as Prime Minister at this delicate period when Yemenis are fighting to end the coup, preserve the republic, and to build institutions of a federal state,” he wrote on Twitter.
He holds a PhD in the philosophy of architecture from Cairo University and continues to work for a Cairo-based consultancy firm.
Before serving as a minister, Dr Saeed was an assistant professor in the Engineering Faculty at Thamar University in Dhamar, Yemen.
Involved in politics from a young age, Dr Saeed participated in the National Dialogue Conference on Independent Youth that was held in the capital Sanaa in 2013. The conference aimed to draft a new constitution and to prepare the country for elections in 2014. He also played a vital role in developing an Independent Youth Vision for Yemen for 2030.
He recently participated in UN-led peace talks in the Swiss city of Biel and in Kuwait.
His appointment was greeted with enthusiasm by some Yemenis who also noted the monumental difficulties facing the government.
“The new prime minister can be seen as a technocrat with a vision of leadership and management, but he will face many challenges,” Yemen’s former human rights minister, Hooria Mashhour, told The National.
“He will have to deal with issues such as corruption, which is needed to be addressed by the entire government and not just the prime minister’s office,” Mrs Mashhour said, adding that security, relief and economic recovery will need to be top of his priorities.
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