Yemen delays parliamentary elections
Yemen's parliament voted on Thursday to delay this year's parliamentary elections to 2011, to allow time to implement a deal on electoral reform reached by the ruling and opposition parties, parliamentary sources said. A large majority approved a constitutional amendment to allow the delay from April this year to April 2011, Reuters. A further vote to ratify the proposal is required in 60 days time.
Yemen's Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told the U.N. General Assembly in September that Yemen would allow foreign monitors to observe the elections to ensure their fairness. But opposition parties held protest rallies last November against what they claimed were government efforts to manipulate the planned vote, which they threatened to boycott.
The deal would take further time to discuss and implement, explaining the delay to the elections, said opposition coalition leader Sultan Hizam.
Parliamentary elections were last held in 2003 after an earlier delay in 2007 also involving a constitutional amendment.