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.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eng. Hisham Sharaf and Minister of Agriculture Ghazi Al-Ahwal met on Tuesday with the Resident Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Sana'a Dr. Salah El Hajj.
The meeting reviewed aspects of cooperation between Yemen and FAO, especially with regard to the food security situation in Yemen.