A government commission on Saturday threatened to take legal action against the opposition Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) for including exiled "secessionists" on its leadership list.
"If the YSP does not take notice of the warning it has received, it will be brought before a specialized court and accused of violating the law on (political) parties," said the commission's head, Minister of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Abdullah Ahmad Ghanem.
A YSP official, asking not to be identified, accused the commission of bias toward the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"This commission does not have the right to impose its views on the YSP or any other political formation," he said.
The opposition official accused the GPC of trying to block YSP participation in general elections and a referendum on constitutional amendments that are scheduled to take place in February 2001.
The YSP is opposed to the amendments, which would extend the presidential mandate to seven years from the current five years and prolong the four-year term of parliament to six years.
On Thursday, the commission accused the YSP of violating the law on political parties and organizations by including "secessionists" on its central committee list drawn up in September.
On the list was Ali Salem al-Baid, who is living in Oman. He is a former YSP secretary general and president of a short-lived republic declared in the southern port city of Aden in May 1994.
The YSP, which governed the former South Yemen until it merged with the north in 1990, had attempted a secession that was defeated by Saleh's troops in a civil war. Its main leaders are in exile and have been condemned to death in absentia -- SANAA (AFP)
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