Yemen parliament convenes in defiance of Saudi-backed exiled government

Published August 14th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
Yemen’s parliament has held its first session since the outbreak of conflict almost two years ago. (AFP/File)
Yemen’s parliament has held its first session since the outbreak of conflict almost two years ago. (AFP/File)

Yemen’s parliament has held its first session since the outbreak of conflict in the Arab country almost two years ago, in a move to challenge the Saudi-backed resigned government.

Yemeni lawmakers attended the session in the country’s capital, Sana’a, on Saturday.

According to Yemen’s al-Masira television, the parliamentarians unanimously ratified the newly-formed “Higher Political Council” to rule the country, lifting power and legitimacy of resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Last week, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the General People's Congress (GPC) party of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, jointly appointed a governing supreme council to run the country.

The two groups officially announced in a joint statement that they both have an equal share in the 10-member council.

According to the statement, the Houthis and the GPC will rotate the position of president and vice president, who will be chosen within the supreme council.

Ansarullah and the GPC initially announced the formation of the council on July 28, two days before the Saudi-backed delegation loyal to Hadi pulled out of the UN-backed peace talks in Kuwait.

The supreme council will be tasked with managing “state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security” based on Yemen’s constitution, the two groups said.

In a statement carried by Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency, Hadi called the parliament session illegal and warned that lawmakers attending it could be prosecuted as criminals.

More than 15 months of conflict in Yemen have killed around 10,000 people while hundreds remain displaced across the country. Most of the casualties have been caused by Saudi Arabia’s relentless air campaign against Yemen, which started in March 2015 in support of Hadi.

 


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