Political Analysis

Parliament request to remove protesters’ tents creates controversy

National Yemen

Yemen Parliamentary chamber

By: Abdo Ayesh

A controversy was stirred when the Parliament requested that President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi order authorities to evacuate tents from Sana’a’s Change Square. House members stated that tents and protestors have no reason to remain camped out and also that they are hindering peoples’ daily lives.

In response, Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) leader Sultan Al-Atwani said that no one, including the JMP, can force revolutionaries to leave Change Square and furthermore that they are the only ones who can decide when to leave.

“They’ve confirmed that they will maintain their position until all their goals and demands have been met, as they’ve seen that until now, change has not been achieved,” said Al-Atwani.

He added that tents at Change Square had no connection to security imbalances and also that the revolutionaries are peaceful.

“The GCC initiative spoke about the armed forces and military powers and this is why it stated that army units should return to their camps,” he noted.

For his part, Habib Al-Areeqi, a member of the Revolution’s Organizing Committee, said that tents are linked to efforts to achieve all of the revolution’s goals, which include the removal of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s relatives from positions of power in the security and armed forces.

Al-Areeqi added that the House of Representatives had no right to demand the evacuation of tents from Change Square and said the House itself had lost legal authority.

“Parliament Chairman Yayia Al-Raee is accused of involvement in the crime of killing revolutionaries by bringing thugs to Change Square in Sana’a,” he said.

Al-Areeqi said that the youth had demanded that the Parliament be dissolved, as it was one of the tools used by the former regime and also because it approved the immunity provision which was granted to Saleh.

Lawyer Khaled Al-Anesi said that no one can force revolutionaries to leave their tents and stated that the GCC had recognized the protesters’ legitimacy. He added that the House of Representatives should work to remove tents erected at Sana’a’s Al-Tahrir Square, as they were filled with thugs who supported Saleh.