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Electoral news in Yemen

August 20th, 2008
Opposition threatens to escalate protest, Saleh vows to retaliate.
“Opposition parties have the right to announce their objections to whatever happens in the country, but political extortion is strongly rejected and all national parties must respect the [Yemeni] Constitution and Law,” President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Tuesday at a consultative meeting for media personnel. His statements were in response to threats by opposition parties to escalate protests in the streets to express their rejection of the previous Election Law, which a majority of ruling party (General People's Congress) members in Parliament approved on Monday. Saleh vowed to hit back against “any irresponsible actions” by the opposition.
(Source: Yemen Times 20/08/2008)

August 20th, 2008
Electoral Law of 2001 approved without any amendment.

On Monday Parliament approved the current Election Law of 2001 – without any amendments – and also approved a list of 15 candidates for SCER membership. Although GPC and JMP reached an agreement last week, which included the release of political detainees and a set of negotiated amendments to the Electoral Law of 2001, at the end the Parliament rejected to vote these amendments and approved the previous Law. According to GCP the JMP failed in the agreement as they refused to name their candidates for the commission. In the other hand, JMP described the GPC's voting for an old law that's already in effect as “disgraceful conduct,” adding that the ruling party is damaging seriously the democracy in Yemen .
(Source: Yemen Times 20/08/2008)

August 18th, 2008
Parliament likely to approve Election Law amendments, choose SCER candidate.

The Yemeni Parliament is likely to approve today the Public Election Law amendment project that the Yemeni government presented for the second time late last month. The government project includes a complete amendment of 23 items, in addition to eight clauses in another seven items in the Election Law, based on European Union recommendations following the most recent presidential election in September 2006 and a principle agreement Yemen 's political parties signed in June 2006. Yesterday, Parliament delayed voting on the Election Law amendment until today, giving the Joint Meeting Parties a 24-hour respite to announce their candidates for the Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum.
(Source: Yemen Times 18/08/2008)

June 25th, 2008
IFES advisor praises Yemen election law.

The senior International advisor in the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) praised on Wednesday the legal framework of Yemen 's elections law, considering it "one of the best laws and model in the region. During his meeting with General Secretary of the Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum (SCER) Shayf al-Husseni, the IFES official reviewed with al-Husseni the latest developments of Yemen 's democracy and the steps which will be carried out in the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2009. Al-Husseni also talked with the IFES advisor on aspects of the bilateral cooperation between Yemen and IFES during the coming period, hailing all forms of support and assistance provided by IFES to Yemen in both electoral and democratic fields
(Source: Saba News 25/06/2008)

June 18th, 2008
Republican decree appoints governor for al-Jawf.

A Republican decree No. 122 for the year 2008 was issued on Wednesday appointing Naji Saleh Thwabah as a governor for al-Jawf governorate. 
(Source: Saba News 18/06/2008)

June 16th, 2008
Elections Law Amendments Delayed 48 Hours; Opposition Continue Parliament Boycott.

Parliament decided to delay the discussion for amending the election law 48 hours, hoping to reach a solution with the opposition parties represented by the Joint Meeting Party (JMP) before the end of the period. This comes as MPs affiliated with JMP continue to boycott the sessions devoted for discussing the amendments. The boycott by opposition in parliament entered its eighth day, making it the longest period in parliament history in which opposition members boycott it. The Secretary General of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum Shaif Al-Husseini called on political parties to act responsibly as for hastening the formation of the commission. Al-Husseini told media that the forthcoming parliamentary elections could be delayed in case parties do not reach agreeable means for its formation. He further indicated that the time is very limited and parties have to reach an agreement in order to start preparing for elections, maintaining that registration committees should start their work from August 28 which takes nearly a month to prepare, followed by the appeal period which lasts 90 days. In its statement, the Supreme Council of Joint Meeting Parties JMP accused the General People Congress GPC of seeking to form a committee alone, ignoring other political players. It considered including the project of elections law amendments in parliament agenda to be an introduction for its approval. However, even with the absence of JMP members in parliament, the constitutional rights and freedom committee at parliament presented the amendments for discussion before the attending members, mostly GPC. Parliament, excluding JMP members, is due to endorse the amendments if opposition parties fail to meet the deadline, according to the committee.
(Source: Yemen Post 16/06/2008)

June 13th, 2008
US President Highlights 2006 Yemen Presidential Elections.

In his speech at the Paris headquarters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), President Bush considered the elections as significant elections in the region.
On Thursday, President Saleh received a letter from US President George W. Bush deals with the bilateral relations and joint cooperation in field of fighting terrorism. 
(Source: Saba News 13/06/2008)

June 11th, 2008
Yemen and EC sign agreement on supporting election system.
The European Commission and the Yemeni government signed an agreement draft of supporting election system and promoting the parliament's abilities at the cost of €5.3 million for 2008-2010.
The EC's support aims to enhance the abilities of Yemen 's Supreme Committee for Election and Referendum and apply recommendations suggested by the EU Election Observation Mission in the wake of 2006 local council and presidential elections. 
(Source: al-Sahwa 11/06/2008)

June 8th, 2008
Yemen 's opposition threatens to boycott.

Yemen 's main opposition alliance, the Joint Meeting Parties, pulled out on Sunday from the House of Representatives, protesting preparations by the ruling party aiming to impose election law amendments which the opposition does not accept.
The parliamentary bloc of the opposition threatened to boycott the parliament's sessions in case the ruling party insisted on passing those amendments and forming an election committee solely, without national compromise.
(Source: al-Sahwa 8/06/2008)

June 7th, 2008
Parliament lifts al-Houthi parliamentary inmunity.

The Yemeni parliament lifted on Sunday for the second time the immunity of the lawmaker Yahya al-Houthi who is seeking political asylum in Berlin on charges of leading a terrorist movement and commanding Saada rebellion.
Yahya is a representative of the ruling party and a brother of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Believing Youth rebel group that has been battling army forces near borders with Saudi Arabia since mid-2004.
The parliament revoked al-Houthi's immunity for the first time in February 2007, but it was backed to him again following a Qatari-brokered deal.
(Source: al-Sahwa 7/06/2008)

May 26th, 2008
Al-Jawf Elections Cancelled; Saleh seeks new Governor ignoring elections results.

Local sources told the Yemen Post that President Saleh has sought to force Al-Ezi bin Abadan to withdraw his candidacy as governor of Al-Jawf. The negotiations led Al-Jawf sheikhs and tribes supporting Abadan to lift their siege on the government complex in Al-Hazm, the capital city of Al-Jawf province. Bin Abadan support amassed last week after a first-instance court rejected the results of elections and ordered conducting new elections.
(Source: Yemen Post 26/05/2008)

May 19th, 2008
Saleh intends to make amendments to Local Authority Law.

Following announcing the results of the governors' elections, President Saleh announced his intention to make a new amendment to the law of local authority.
The new amendment dictates appointing the secretary general of governorates and districts by a republican decree and this requires amending the former law that dictated electing the secretary general from among the members of the local and governorates councils.
Saleh added that there should be no condition for having the secretary general from the province sons, hinting he could be from outside and enjoys the authorities of the elected member.
This comes after the defeat of some General People Congress (GPC) candidates, and the move seeks to cover up for the rising of some independent candidates or those who are believed to be opponents.
(Source: Yemen Post 19/05/2008)

May 18th, 2008
Talib elected governor of al Dhale.

The elections of the governors of all governorates of Yemen and the Mayor of the capital Sana'a were run yesterday except in al-Dhalea where the elections were postponed for incomplete of the legal quorum when only 79 voters 'members of the local councils of al-Dhalea out of the total number of 196.
The elections committee of al-Dhalea decided to postpone the casting process till today so as to give chance for the voters to come and practice their right.
Today 107 voters including 27 members of the local councils affiliated to the Joint Meeting Parties JMP ' the collation of the opposition parties that had announced boycotting the governor's election' out of 196 cast their votes.
The casting process resulted in electing the candidate of the General People Congress(GPC) ruling party GPC  Ali Qasim Talib who won 97 votes out of 107 voters that took part in casting process.  Head of the elections committee of al-Dhalea Ali Saleh announced the results.
By winning the elections in al-Dhalea the GPC has won 18 seats of governors out of 20 in addition to winning the post of the mayor of the capital.
However the JMP denied that 27 of their members took part in the elections accusing the elections committee of al-Dhalea of fraud the elections.
The head of the political unit of the JMP accused the authorities of cheating the elections and threatened that the JMP will try the government and the elections committee. For its part the Al-Dhalea elections committee affirmed that 27 members of the local councils affiliated to the JMP have took part in the voting process and showed willingness to publish their names and finger prints.   
(Source: Yemen Observer 18/05/2008)

May 18th, 2008
New governors to be sworn in next Wednesday.

The new elected governors in Yemen are to take next Wednesday the constitutional oath before President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Informed sources said President Saleh is expected to chair a joint meeting that will gather the cabinet and the governors to identify the coming phase responsibilities after the successful governor elections. The sources added that during the meeting mechanism to transfer the authority to the local governors and setting out a new strategy for the local authority would be discussed. In this regard, the new elected governors would take over after they are worn into office and the current governors will stay on posts until that time. On the other hand, the cabinet is expected to hold next Monday an exceptional meeting to discuss the results of the recent governor elections and the following steps to transfer into decentralization.
(Source: Saba News 18/05/2008)

May 18th, 2008
Run-off for Dhale'a governor elections to be held.

The run-off for Dhale'a's governor elections is to be held today after it has been suspended due to legal reasons, the state-run 26sep.net has said. By law a run-off must be held next day if the number of an electoral body members eligible for vote is not enough, a source at the Local Administration ministry has made clear. The supervising election committee in the province had announced the governor election to be delayed because the number of the province's electoral body members didn't meet target. Only 79 members of 196 had been available for the elections. According to the Yemeni laws, if the run-off could not be held president of the republic has the right to issue a decree appointing the governor .
(Source: Saba News 18/05/2008)

May 17th, 2008
GPC wins majority of governors election, 3 independents win.

Nominees of the General Peoples' Congress (GPC) for governor positions have won with absolute majority and three governorates won by independent nominees while elections in Al-Dhale governorate was postponed due to lack of legal quorum. Elections in governorates of Marib, Al-Beidha, Al-Jawf, Rayma, Abyan, Shabwa, Saada and Lahj witnessed strong competition between the GPC and independent nominees in spite of boycott of opposition parties. Sources in the supervisory commissions have affirmed the winners of the election as follows:

Governorates

Governors

Abyan

Ahmed al-Maisari (GPC)

Aden

Adnan al-Jafri (GPC)

Al Dhale

Ali Qasim Talib (GPC)

Al Beidha

Mohammed al-Amiri (Independent)

Al Houdaida

Ahmed al-Jabali (GPC)

Al Jawf

Hamad Abdan (Independent)

Al Mahra

Ali Khadoum (GPC)

Al Mahwit

Ahmed Muhsen (GPC)

Amran

Kahlan abu Shawarib (GPC)

Dhamar

Yahya al-Umari (GPC)

Hadramaut

Salim al-Khanbashi (GPC)

Hayyah

Farid Mujawar (GPC)

Ibb

Ahmed al-Hajri (GPC)

Lahj

Mohsen al-Naqib (GPC)

Mareb

Naji al-Zaidi (Independent)

Saada

Hasan Mana'a (GPC)

Sanaa

Numan Dowaid (GPC)

Shabwa

Ali al-Ahmadi (GPC)

Taizz

Hamoud al-Soufi (GPC)

Rayma

Salim al-Khadmi (GPC)

Sanaa capital

Abdul-Rahman al-Akwa (GPC)

(Source: Saba News 17/05/2008)

May 17th, 2008
Some election data

According to the figures provided by supervisory committees in each province, 6,180 members out of 7,484 members participated in the elections. In Marib province the independent candidate for the province governor post Naji al-Zayedi came ahead of the ruling party nominee Hussein Hazeb with 141 of 206 eligible voters against the 36 obtained by Hazeb. The origin number of the eligible voters in the province electoral body reaches 268.
In Raymah, there were two rounds of elections after Al-Khidami (GPC), managed not to win a victory over his rival in the first round; however, he won in the second round.
In al-Jawf the independent candidate Ahmad Abdan managed to make victory over the GPC candidate and former governor Fadhel Al-Qusi as he got 78 votes while his competitor only gained 77. Also in al-Baeidha the independent candidate Mohammed al-Amiri won 195 votes against his competitor the candidate of the GPC Naser al-Sowadi who gained only 185 votes after a second round of elections.
The GPC candidate in Abyan, Muhsen Al-Naqib won with a difference of only 8 votes against the independent Ali Mater. Other GPC candidates won with big differences. That was the case of Abdulrahman al-Akwa'a in Sanaa who won the post of the mayor of the capital Sana'a unanimously gaining 284 votes out of 285.
Some won uncontested elections as for Hamoud Al-Soufi in Taiz after their independent candidate were forced to withdraw.
(Source: Saba News 17/05/2008. Yemen Post 19/05/2008, Yemen Times 20/05/2008)

May 17th, 2008
NDI refuses monitoring governor elections.

The National Democratic Institute has refused an invitation by the Local Administration Ministry to oversee governor elections held today, Saturday , saying that it would not take part in elections which their results previously known.
For their part, Yemen 's opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties boycotted electing governors and painted elections as a “play”.
(Source: al Sahwa 17/05/2008)

May 5th, 2008
107 applications for Governor Post Nationwide; door still open for more.

The number of candidates for governor posts has reached 107 in all Yemeni provinces, according to official sources. Former ministers, dignitaries, academics, businessmen and common people will all be running  ingovernors' elections. Sana'a province came in the first place as for the number of candidates, as 19 people nominated themselves for the post of governor, followed by Al-Baidha with 10 applications and Taiz and Abyan with 7 applications each.
(Source: Yemen Post 05/005/2008)

April 28th, 2008
Hilal: Elections will change 80 percent of governors.

Minister of Local Administration Abdul-Qader Hilal expected that governors' elections, to be held on May 17, will result in changing 70-80 percent of governors, announcing that his ministry has completed all measures and documents needed for holding the elections. He added that a media center has been set up in the ministry for providing journalists with all available information and data, in compliance with the ministry's obligation to keep the elections transparent. He confirmed that the elections are a national issue and basic step in the democratic process for wider local governance and a historical event in electing governors after 40 years of the routine process of appointing them. The minister fixed six days for receiving nomination applications and 48 hours for contestations, setting Saturday, May 17 as the election day. Concerning an elections boycott announced by some opposition parties, he noted that the active boycott of any elections must be at least 40 percent of voters and that boycotting parties represent only 10 percent of civil society, which means the vast majority of society will participate. Hilal called on all political parties to participate in establishing this democratic process, which he considered the first in the Arab World, saying that these elections will be conducted under judicial and international supervision, welcoming any local and international organization which wants to participate. For his part, Deputy Minister of Local Administration Umer al-Okbori said that the number of staff who will elect the governors are 7,482 persons, composed of heads and members of local councils across the country.
(Source: Yemen Times 28/04/2008)

April 27th, 2008
Islah Secretary-General: We refuse the ruling party's amendments and support governors elected by voters.

Abdul-Wahab al-Anisi- Head of the Supreme Council of JMP and the secretary-general of the Islah party has considered the election of governors came in way different to what Yemen 's president promised in his electoral platform. “JMP believes those amendments are inconsistent with the state-constitution and has no national consensus as they were approved by the ruling party majority and refused by the opposition” said to aljazeera.net. "We support electing governors directly by voters, not by the local council members" he said.
(Source: al-Sahwa 27/04/2008)

April 21st, 2008
Governors to be elected soon, opposition disappointed.

In an exceptional meeting, the cabinet discussed the preparations for electing governors, which is due to be conducted on April 27 after President Saleh and the government managed to pass the amendments on local governance law. Parliament approved these amendments in last weeks session that witnessed the withdrawal of opposition parties, Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), representatives in protest against the hasty manner in which preparations for these amendments and elections was made. In their statement, the JMP described this move by authorities to be disappointing especially when the forthcoming governors are to be elected by the members of the local authority in each province's districts. The rejection of the JMP is justified by the fact that the General People Congress (GPC) enjoys overwhelming majority among the members of the local authority in most provinces, and this would ensure the victory of its candidates. Sources expected that many governors will keep their posts especially when they exploit public funds for their electoral campaigns and their influence to force a certain number of local authority members. Meanwhile, sources from the GPC declared that electing governors comes in translation of president Saleh's electoral platform which aims at having local governance with broad powers.
(Source: Yemen Post 21/04/2008)

April 16th, 2008
Government closure of newspaper triggers international concern.

International non-government organizations raised concerns about the situation of freedom of press and expression in Yemen after the closure of Al-Wasat weekly newspaper. Journalists and human rights activist staged a sit in on April 16 in the capital city of Sana'a , condemning the information minister's decision to withdraw Al-Wasat's license. Protestors said the minister's decision represents a serious violation against freedom of the press and is part of a series of violations that increased early this year.
(Source: Yemen Times 16/04/2008)

April 16th, 2008
JMP opposes gubernatorial elections.

The Joint Meeting Parties are opposing amendments to the Local Authority Law to elect governors whom Parliament approved Tuesday at the request of the National Defense Council.
The JMP's Higher Council describes such legal amendments as “just a decorating project” with no real meaning, adding that such amendments contravene direct and free elections stipulated in the Yemeni Constitution. The JMP council considers these legal amendments part of formal procedures taken by the authority in an attempt to reduce nationwide political congestion resulting from its own poor policies. Opposition parties accuse these poor policies of encouraging the increase of such political congestion and worsening dire situations across the nation. Parliament on Tuesday approved Article 38 of 2000's Law No. 4 regarding the Local Authority after it amended specific articles related to electing governors and mayors of the capital city. According to the article, a governor will be given the rank of minister, as well as elected via secret ballot by local councilors in governorates and districts. Following his win, the governor-elect then will be appointed by republican decree and commence his duties after being sworn in before the president. The article establishes a minimum legal age of 40 for any gubernatorial applicant, adding that the applicant must have a university certificate (or any certificate equivalent to a university degree) and no less than 10 years' professional experience following graduation.
(Source: Yemen Times 16/04/2008)

April 15th, 2008
Parliament: Candidates for governor post should be in voters registration of governorate.
The Parliament approved on Tuesday amendment on an article of the local Authority Law by putting a condition that the candidate for the governor post should be in the voters registration of the governorate, where he will nominate himself. The majority of parliament approved the article No. 38, which states that a person, has been registered in the voters list of the governorate, has only right to nominate himself for the post of governor in this governorate. Sources in the parliament said that the government side asked to re-discuss the approved article. On Monday, the local authority committee at the parliament recommended that the age of the candidate should be 40 years instead of 35 years.
(Fuente: Saba News 15/04/2008)

April 7th, 2008
Major Blow for Press Freedom in Yemen.
Information Ministry announced on Saturday cancelling the license of the weekly Al-Wasat newspaper because the paper allegedly published reports and news stories that harm the national unity and damages the relations between Yemen and his neighbours. Deputy Head of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Sa'eed Thabet condemned the resolution and declared that the ministry has no right to do so, declaring the law does not grant it the right to withdraw or cancel the licenses only through judiciary. Thabet went on to say that the cancellation resolution is dangerous and threatens press freedoms, and stressed that judiciary is the party that should correct the mistakes in case they exist. Al-Wasat Chief Editor Jamal Amir told media that the resolution is politicized.
(Fuente: Yemen Post 07/04/2008)

March 2nd, 2008
Parliament demands closure of MP's paper

For the first time in Yemeni Parliament's history, 52 Parliament members demanded that Al-Mustaqilla Newspaper, belonging to independent Parliament member (MP) Ahmad Saif Hashid, be shut down.
The MPs filed a complaint to the Attorney General against their colleague, accusing him of violating national principles and Islamic sharia in the various articles published by his newspaper.
(Source: Yemen Times 2/03/2008)

January 7th, 2008
Islah mandates Mohammad al-Yadomias acting head.

Higher Committee of the Islah party held a meeting headed by the deputy of the Islah party, Mohammad al-Yadomi. It said in a statement that it mandated Mohammad al-Yadomi to work as the acting head of Islah until the general congress of Islah is held and elects a successor of the late head Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussain Al-Ahmer who passed away lately of the last month. Islah will elect its head in its general congress according to its own regulations.
(Fuente: al-Sahwa 07/01/2008)

December 29th, 2007
Sheikh al-Ahmar dies
.
It was announced Saturday that the sheikh of Yemen's most dominant Hashid tribe, Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar, who also was Speaker of the Yemeni Parliament since 1993 and chairman of the Islah Party's supreme committee since 1990, has died at age 74 after suffering with an incurable disease for many years.
Al-Ahmar made remarkable contributions to protect the revolution and the unity of Yemen . He was considered as the Number 2 of the political arena and as is said this days a “Yemeni warrior who had died after a life of full glories” or “a courageous struggler” and “a wise politician”.
(Fuente: Saba News , Yemen Times, Yemen Obsever 29/12/2007)

December 25th, 2007
NDI calls for supporting Saleh constitutional amendments.

Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Peter Dimitrov called on Tuesday for supporting initiative of President Ali Abudullah Saleh for constitutional amendments, considering the move toward a presidential system a source of pride for it will contest with systems in other democratic countries.
"We are happy for these amendments and the call of president Saleh for dialogue with the other political parties and we agree with him that this will have a positive impact in improving the ruling system as well as the democratic process," he said.
He noted in a statement that these amendments will lead to reinforcing the importance and privilege of the parliament on contrary to fear of some people.
Regarding the democratic and parliamentary process in Yemen , Dimitrov said that it witnesses a remarkable progress. He noted also that the Yemeni parliament has taken an advanced step in issuing related legislations on fighting corruption and the continuous questioning of ministers.
(Fuente: Saba News 8/12/2007)

December 23rd, 2007
Parliament and Shoura to discuss constitutional amendments soon.

Parliamentarian sources said that, in response to the President Ali Abdullah Saleh's call, the parliament and Shoura councils are to hold a joint meeting after Eid al-Adha vacation to discuss constitutional amendments. The meeting will deal with the amendments initiative before approving it and then casting it to a public poll.
(Source: Saba News 23/12/2007)

December 2nd, 2007
Saleh calls on opposition abroad to return and practice their political rights.

The opposition living abroad can come back to Yemen and exercise their political rights through the existing parties, or can start establishing new parties of their own, said President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a speech last Thursday. The comments were made in Aden on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of November 30 Independence Day at the Stadium of May 22.

Political Parties in stalemate over election board.
Opposition and independent members of the Yemeni parliament rejected on Tuesday a proposal by the ruling party to amend the election law, saying it posed a threat to the “national compromise and political pluralism”. The proposal is that the country's electoral commission should consist of judges, rather than politicians from the major parties, as has been the case in the past. If the new law is passed, the president of the republic will appoint seven judges to run the Supreme Elections Committee. The appointed judges will be selected from a shortlist of 14, selected by Parliament from an original list of 22 judges recommended by the Supreme Judicial Council.
MPs from the three main opposition parties as well as independent MPs signed a statement in which is said that by the new election law, “the ruling party will be the only player on the committee, which will lose its neutrality and independence. We are determined that any procedure for forming the committee should come from the spirit of the constitution and the law, which provides for pluralism and the independence and neutrality of the committee.”
(Source: Yemen Observer 2/12/2007)

November 26th, 2007
Members of Assemble Parties Committee leave the Parliament
.

All the members of the opposition block Assembled Parties Committee left on Monday the Parliament as a token of protest in view of government party's insistence on passing some amends to the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum Law without the consensus with all the other political forces.
(Source: al-Sahwa 26/11/2007)

November 25th, 2007
Opposition asks Government not to take unilateral decisions about the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum.

Leaders of the Assembled Parties Committee, the strongest block of opposition parties in Yemen , appealed the People's General Congress, the governing party, to look for the consensus within political parties and avoid taking unilateral decisions related to the constitution of the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum. According to APC, the governing party has to reconsider their current policies which push the country towards more political crisis and congestion, and has to strengthen negotiation amongst other political forces in the country.
(Fuente: Yemen Times 25/11/2007)

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