Exiled president loses Yemen power as parliament ratifies new ruling

[ObjectName]=YEMEN-CONFLICT-PARLIAMENT [Urgency]=5 [Category]=WAR [DateCreated]=044302+0000 [OriginalTransmissionReference]=g2mapping/libg2 2.12.19 [Byline]=AFP [BylineTitle]=STR [City]=Sanaa [CountryCode]=YEM [CountryName]=Yemen OriginalTransmissionReference]=003 [Credit]=AFP [Source]=AFP [Caption]=Members of Yemen's parliament attend a parliament session in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, on August 13, 2016. Yemen's Iran-backed rebels convened parliament in defiance of the internationally recognised government prompting condemnation from President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. The session was the first time parliament convenes in almost two years and comes after the Huthis rejected a UN peace plan and appointed a council to run the country. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS [CaptionWriter]=MH
Written by Staff

SANAA, (Xinhua) — Yemen’s parliament unanimously ratified Saturday the “Higher Political Council” to unilaterally rule the country, lifting the power and legitimacy of the internationally recognized exiled president and his government, the Houthi rebels-controlled state TV reported.

The parliament held its extraordinary session with 143 members out of 301 attending.

The quorum is completed as the 143 lawmakers formed the majority to take the decision officially because there were 26 of the 301 members had died and have not been replaced with new elected ones due to the civil war since 2014, the TV cited Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Raiee as saying.

“The Council of Representatives unanimously recognizes, ratifies and blesses the formation of the Higher Political council to rule the country from it’s geographically far north to Aden in the south, and from east to the west of Yemen’s official borders,” Parliament Speaker al-Raiee and the attending MPs voted with “Yes” as showed by the state TV.

The vote legally stripped internationally recognized exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi along with his government out of office, according to the attending parliamentarians.

Late on Friday, Hadi warned the parliament of taking such a step, threatening to hold them accountable and subject them to punishment.

The ruling council was declared and formed on Aug. 6 between former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party and Shiite Houthi armed group following the breakdown of peace talks with their foes in Kuwait.

It is made up of 10 senior officials, who dominate the decision making in the country, and was declared in a ceremony in the presidential palace in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.

Senior Houthi leader Saleh al-Sumad was elected as council president and Kasim Labuzah of former president’s General People’s Congress party as vice-president, according to Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

They said the council’s next mission is to form a new “national government.”

The escalating move came after UN-sponsored peace talks with their foes of internationally recognized government of President Hadi in Kuwait collapsed after over three months of fruitless negotiations to end years-long civil war.

The civil war and airstrikes of Saudi-led military coalition have killed over 6,400 people, mostly civilians and displaced more than two other millions.

Saudi Arabia intervened in support of President Hadi and his government in March 2015 after the Houthis and Saleh forces expelled them to Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

However, Saudi-led military coalition has failed to force bring back exiled President Hadi and his government to the office in Sanaa.

Sanaa and most of northern and southern provinces have been under tighten control of Houthi and Saleh armed forces since September 2014 when they stormed the capital and other major cities.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched three airstrikes few kilometers away from the Parliament building simultaneously with the Parliament session vote to approve the new ruling political council.

No casualties were reported, as Saturday airstrikes marked the fifth consecutive day of aerial bombing on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.