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Yemen’s Parliament Convenes Next Month with Participation of General People’s Congress MPs

Yemen’s Parliament Convenes Next Month with Participation of General People’s Congress MPs

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018 - 07:45
Houthi militants in Yemen. (AFP)

The Yemeni government is preparing to hold the country’s first parliament session in the temporary capital, Aden, early next month, a Yemeni high-ranking official said on Monday.

The official said the government was able to reach the necessary quorum required to hold the session by driving a large number of representatives of late former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) and other parties to the meeting.

Mohammed al-Shadadi, deputy speaker of the parliament, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the cabinet is currently exerting efforts to hold the first parliament session in February, after the majority of lawmakers were ready to attend, particularly those coming from the Houthi-liberated areas and who can be quickly moved to Aden.

“The quorum has been reached with the participation of 135 deputies in the first planned session,” he said, adding that the number of lawmakers wishing to attend this session is expected to gradually increase in the upcoming days, with the exit of the remaining detained MPs from Sanaa and other Houthi-controlled directorates.

There are currently 40 deputies trapped in Sanaa, Hajjah and Rimat by militias.

“We are working to secure the release of those lawmakers, who represent the last card used by militias to demonstrate their political presence in Yemen,” Shadadi added.

He said that the first parliament session will not have an agenda, but it will rather be held to set the dates for the next sessions, ahead of the cabinet’s discussion of a number of main issues.

In a related development, high-ranking Houthi official Hamzah al-Houthi uncovered on Monday that the militant group decided to annul the participation of representatives from the GPC in the upcoming peace talks.

Instead, he said, Houthis will form a unified delegation from pro-rebel militias to participate in the talks.

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