Yemen: President Hadi attends rare parliamentary session

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who heads the internationally recognised government of Yemen has paid a rare visit to the country and also took part in a parliamentary session. Hadi has been living in Saudi Arabia ever since the rebel group of Houthis had seized control of the capital Sanaa. He was able to attend the parliamentary session in Seyoun, which is under the control of the government in the eastern parts of Yemen.

The meeting was attended by about 141 members of the assembly which has a total membership of 301. The primary aim of the meeting was to consolidate the legitimacy of the Hadi government which has been challenged by the rebels. It was in 2003 when the assembly came to power after elections but the mandate of the same has been extended multiple times due to the delays caused by the elections over instability in the country.

The Saudi-backed government of Yemen, led by Hadi has been fighting the Houthi forces in a thick power struggle even since 2014 thereby leading to the worst humanitarian crisis of the world as per the United Nations.

The fate of the peace deal which had been brokered by the UN in December still lies in suspension. Hadi told the session, “This extraordinary session is being held in a historic moment and we stand in a crossroad between choices of war and peace. Hasn’t the time come to lay down arms and initiate peace? We stretch out our hands with peace to the Houthis”. During the parliamentary meeting, the members of the legislature elected Sultan al-Burkani of the General People’s Congress for the post of the Speaker.

The Parliament of Yemen is divided between the supporters of Houthis and the supporters of the government. Presently, the government is based in Aden. The local authorities of Aden were not in favour of convening the Parliamentary session in Aden. Ever since the unrest has begun in the area, it is for the first time that so many members of the Parliament have been able to gather for a session. 134 MPs had attended the meeting although 138 were needed for making the session legal.

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