Heated debates over reconvened parliament sessions

Published on 13 February 2012 in News
Sadeq Al-Wesabi (author)

Sadeq Al-Wesabi


The news that parliament's sessions reconvened has provoked controversy among MPs and political activists.

Opposition MPs condemned the development, calling it “an attempt to maneuver the UN Security Council resolution”.

Zaid Al-Shami, deputy chairman of the opposition Islah party, speaking from the parliament building, told the Yemen Times that the regime doesn’t want to recognize the revolution or protesters' demands.

Criticizing MPs who remain loyal to President Saleh, he said: “Unfortunately, those MPs used to ignore us and insult us. They don’t realize that there is a UN Security Council resolution, which compelled them to take responsibility to end Yemen’s crises,” he said.

Al-Shami added: “They are impotent to make any decisions these days. They actually couldn’t make successful decisions before the revolution. The revolution has superseded the government and the parliament.

“This parliament couldn't make any remarkable decisions in its history. It couldn’t give Yemenis their rights and couldn’t stop the different wars in the country.

“The regime’s stubbornness has led us to such a grave situation,” he concluded.

For his part, pro-regime MP Senan Al-Aji said it was the MPs’ duty to reconvene sessions, and especially during these “critical days”.

When asked why sessions of parliament reconvened without the issuing of invitations to opposition MPs to return, he said: “It’s not a matter of wedding invitations. Parliament's sessions must continue.”

“Parliament must continue its observatory role. We must call on the government to provide Yemenis with different, needed services,” said Al-Aji. Speaking about the issues discussed in last Saturday’s session, he said simply: “We discussed the general situation in the country.”

He confirmed that the number of attendees was more than 165 MPs.

“We will do our best for the sake of Yemenis. The harsh circumstances that Yemen faces make us feel determined to continue our sessions and create solutions,” Al-Aji added.

Political analyst Ali Al-Dhubaibi said that the regime is attempting to convince Yemenis and the international community that it is still strong.

“Reconvening parliament at this time is illegal. I think they will not be able to continue to gather and that they will fail.”

At the same time, Al-Dhubaibi expected that they will attempt to pass important bills and decisions even when there aren’t enough members present for parliamentary sessions. “As usual, they will pass bills without the opposition’s approval and without a quorum.

“Those MPs are under pressure. They will maneuver to satisfy their regime and to protect their interests,” he said.