Oslo: Yemini "Arab Spring" activist Tawakkol Karman, who received the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday, lamented that she could not stand as a candidate in her country`s presidential elections in February.
"I want to (be a) candidate," she said in an interview with CNN shortly after the lavish award ceremony in the Oslo city hall.
She said many others also wanted her or other Yemeni citizens to be candidates in the elections, set for February 21 after 33-year-ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to step down, but "do we have this opportunity?"
"If I will (be a) candidate, I will win," she insisted, but pointed out that the Gulf state-brokered deal providing for Saleh`s departure stipulates that only Vice President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is eligible to run to replace him for an
interim period of two years.
"Is it fair?" Karman asked.
"People... are struggling, they lose their blood. We have more than 28,000 people injured and killed in the street for their dignity, for democracy, for freedom, for human rights, for anti-corruption, for good governance (and) they gave us this?" she said.
Karman, 32, is first ever Arab woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize and is a leading figure in Yemen`s "Arab Spring" uprising that pushed Saleh to agree to leave power.
She shared her award today with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Liberian "peace warrior" Leymah Gbowee for demonstrating how women facing war and oppression can shed the mantle of victimhood and lead the way to peace and democracy.