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 United Nations has announced that the number of Yemeni internally displaced persons (IDPs) due the military aggression had doubled in less than two weeks.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the number of Yemeni IDPs had increased twice in 19 governorates since 17 April 2015 when 150 thousand Yemeni IDPs were registered.
It warned of the gravity of situations in Yemen because of the aggression.
The statement pointed out that the big number of IDPs are from the northern Hajjah governorate, in addition to southern Al-Dhalea and Abyan governorates.
Amnesty International has called for investigating the killing of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, by the Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes across Yemen.
"The month-long campaign of air strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and its allies has transformed many parts of Yemen into a dangerous place for civilians," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.
"Millions of people have been forced to live in a state of utter terror, afraid of being killed at home. Many feel they are left with no choice but to move away from their destroyed villages to an uncertain future."
The UN has stated that more than 550 civilians have been killed including more than 100 children since the military campaign began on 25 March.
Amnesty International said it has documented eight strikes in five densely populated areas, which are Sa'ada, Sana'a, Hodeida, Hajjah and Ibb, noting that several of these strikes raised concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law.
According its research, Amnesty International said at least 139 people, including at least 97 civilians, 33 of whom were children were killed during the strikes, and 460 individuals were injured, at least 157 whom are civilians.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
ISLAMABAD: On day five of the joint parliamentary session on Yemen, lawmakers approved a draft resolution proposing that Pakistan “should maintain neutrality in the conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”.
It further said that the crisis in Yemen could “plunge the region into turmoil”, calling upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences “peacefully and through dialogue”.
The resolution noted that while the war in Yemen was not sectarian in nature, it had the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict and thereby having a critical fallout in the region, including within Pakistan.
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.