Almotamar.net - Yemeni parliament refers Saturday constitutional amendments, proposed by more than two thirds of the parliament members, to a special committee headed by deputy speaker Himyar al-Ahmar and membership 15 members of the parliament, in addition to the members of the constitutional committee of the parliament.
The special committee is composed of MPs the parliamentary majority, i.e. the General People’s Congress (GPC) and blocs of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). Members of the JMP parliamentary blocs and tens of members of the Islah Party (Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen) have staged a sit-in in front of the parliament building in protest to the constitutional amendments proposed by the GPC’s parliamentarians.
According to article 185 of the constitution it is scheduled that the amendments would be discussed after two months from now. It should be noted that Yemen would need, after approval of the amendments, to go to a referendum.
The Speaker of the parliament Yahya al-Raie and the head of the GPC parliamentary bloc Sultan al-Barakani have called on the opposition, the civil organisations and those interested in this regard to give their opinions on the amendments during discussing them at the special committee.
The amendments aim to make the legislative power of two chambers; the parliament and the shoura and to be called together as the Umma (People) Assembly, provided that the parliament would keep the monitoring specializations and participates with the shoura in legislation.
According to the amendments the Shoura Council is to be elected by the local councils of the country’s provinces; five members from each province and the President of the republic would appoint 25% out of the total elected members.
The amendments included also article 63 that needs a constitutional amendment, raising the seats of the parliament to 345 instead of 301 so that 44 seats are to be given to women.
With regard to the local rule the amendments included articles: 13, 39, 44, 45 and 46 and adding five new articles. In the amendments in this respect the establishment of local police affiliated to the local councils.
The amendments also [proposed the addition of a constitutional article according to which is the establishment of a higher body for financial control and accountability, entertaining monitoring, administrative and financial independence.
The amendment of article 112 proposes reduction of presidency term from seven years to five years and the cancelling of the two-term system. The five-year term applies after the termination of the present term of the president which ends in 2013.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has appealed member states and civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, especially medical supplies to cope with the big number of injured as a result of the military aggression.
The Secretary General of the OIC Iyad Madani said, in a statement issued Monday, that the OIC is holding consultations with several civil society organizations that have consultative status in the organization to provide food and medical and humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday reminded all sides to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated and that international human rights and international humanitarian law are scrupulously respected during the conduct of hostilities in the country.
In addition to hundreds of fighters, at least 364 civilians are reported to have lost their lives since March 26, including at least 84 children and 25 women. Another 681 civilians – possibly more – have been injured. Dozens of public buildings, including hospitals, schools, airports and mosques have been destroyed in airstrikes, through shelling and other attacks.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has renewed his country's desire to resolve Yemen's crisis in Yemen through talks, revealing that his government urges Iran to play a role in bringing various Yemeni parties to the dialogue.
In his statement issued Monday, Sharif said that his country wants to resolve Yemen crisis through talks.
He added that Islamabad urged Tehran to play a role to bring conflicting parties in Yemen to the dialogue table, the official news agency of Pakistan quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a statement.
Professor Feaqa al-Saeed Ba'alawy, Assistant Secretary-General of the GPC, chaired a meeting of the civil society.
The meeting discussed a number of issues and challenges facing the country, particularly the Saudi brutal aggression on the country.
The UN secretary-general has said that two weeks of Saudi-led air strikes against Yemen, “have turned an internal political crisis into a violent conflict that risks deep and long-lasting regional repercussions”.
Ban Ki-moon on Thursday told reporters that he was urging all countries in the region to go beyond national priorities and help the Yemeni people, saying “the last thing the region and our world need is more of the chaos and crimes we have seen in Libya and Syria”.
Two planeloads of medical aid landed in Sana'a on Friday.
The planes were sent by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The UNICEF plane contained almost 37 tons of medical aid, which "will be delivered to the Ministry of Public Health and Population, to distribute them to hospitals in the needed areas," said Mohammed al-Asadi, the communication officer at UNICEF.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) demanded on Thursday to hold neutral investigations with all members in the Arab coalition forces attacking Yemen led by Saudi Arabia to find out if there are violations of war laws and to take the necessary procedures.
In its press release, the HRW expressed its deep concerns over war laws violations, noting that the airstrikes led to the killing of at least 29 civilians and injured 41 others, including 14 children and 11 women in Al-Mazraq refugees camp in Hajjah governorate in addition to medical facilities, a local market and a bridge.
Iraq and Iran confirmed on Thursday the importance of halting military operations on Yemen, expressing their concern on the consequences of the Saudi aggression on Yemen.
The statement was made during a meeting by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi with the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to Fars news agency.
The European Union (EU) has called the conflicting parties in Yemen to avoid targeting civilians and infrastructure in the country.
In joint statements made by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, they condemned targeting hospitals and destruction of homes, schools and basic infrastructure, saying such acts are unacceptable